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Thursday, January 08, 2015

Commuting Woes 2015


Tuesday morning began like any other. Except, there was snow on the ground and it was still falling. Carol checked and our schools had a two hour delay, so Ben could sleep in, but I was awake and ready to get to work.

Would that I was not.

It was pretty cold and still snowing, but as I waited for the bus at 7:25AM, I enjoyed the first snow of the year and the muffled quiet of the morning. Some traffic was going down our neighborhood streets and conditions didn't seem so bad. After about ten minutes, though, I realized the bus was late. A few minutes later, I was approached from behind by one of our neighbors, a young woman who used to be friends with Rachel. She asked me if I wanted to sit in her van on the street nearby while we waited. I was perfectly comfortable and kind of zen, but I didn't want to be rude to a kindness and so got into the back seat. Her dad was in the driver's seat.

We talked a bit while we waited. The next bus was supposed to arrive at 8:03 but this bus also never showed. At 8:13 (50 minutes after I arrived at the bus stop) I suggested we drive over to the Germantown transit center to catch a different bus that went straight to the Metro. Her dad agreed and started driving the mile and a half to the transit center.

Unfortunately, rather than make a U turn and go straight down a nearby road, he went forward, which lead to a rather circuitous route. Also unfortunately, as soon as we got onto the main roads, we could see why the buses weren't arriving. Cars were everywhere and moving very little. It took us about forty minutes to go the mile and a half to the transit center and took a couple more minutes for the bus to arrive.

It had obviously been a long time since a bus had departed as a large crowd was waiting. As her dad drove away, we made it onto the bus. She got the last seat and I, along with a bunch of others, stood in the aisle. Our goal was Shady Grove metro, about 7 miles away, straight down highway 270. What we found was that on the exit from 270, a bunch of cars had spun out, blocking traffic. The bus took ninety minutes to go the last mile. I stood the whole way.

Once we hit the Metro, things went fine. A train arrived just as I reached the platform and I got my preferred window seat. Mercifully, there were no problems with the train.

I arrived at work at 11:20, three hours and fifty-five minutes after I had walked out my front door, five minutes faster than my Worst. Commute. Ever. I was actually slightly disappointed I didn't set a new record.

Today, with a bunch of Metro mechanical problems due to the cold, my commute only took two hours. It seemed fast by comparison.

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