Washington to Washington

My journey from Seattle, WA to Washington, DC. When we moved here we began to discover the differences from the west coast and the east coast--and I'm not talking about the music. It's a fun look at the differences and prespectives from one Washington to the other.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Ridin' on the Metro

Coming from the west coast, public transportation is not really in my vocabulary. Not because I despise it, just it's never really been readily available.

My fantasy of the Metro was something of a Berlin song ('Ridin' on the Metro') from the 80's -- so I was in for a rude awakening.

First the good things: My station is a couple miles from our apartment, the train comes every few minutes, it drops me off a few blocks from my office downtown, and I get to do crosswords and not sit in traffic.

Okay, here's the deal... if I get a seat, life imitates art and I can 'ride the metro' in my head...all 50 minutes it takes me to get to work. Everyone is always in a hurry and usually in a frantic rush to bully you out of the way--and at 5 feet tall, I'm usually the one getting trampled. I blame my "oh, no, it's okay" response, from living on the west coast; like after someone else slammed me into a platform barrier to get to the same train we both were heading for. Or my favorite, slipping on the platform in the rain and sliding into the escalator-- people just step over you.

Next is the cost. I have heard that the "metro is great", "it's the easiest way to go", "we are right on the metro"...but no one ever says "it will cost you $15 dollars to get to Dupont Circle (roundtrip w/parking)" or "if you want to get parking, you have to get to the station before 7:30am" or "day passes ($7) only work after 930am (I work before 9am), but it won't get your car out of the parking lot." Now, I know it doesn't seem like a lot... add that up! $15 a day x 20+ days = more than my car payment.

I don't think I have ever missed driving my car so much. (Parking downtown is like a mortgage, so I ride.) Listening to a book on tape, new CD, NPR, etc. you know, all the silly things you don't think about...bucket seats, stopping for a soda, AIR CONDITIONING.

Until I get a better job closer to home (fingers crossed) or I get a raise (so I can drive), I will be "ridin' on the metro-o-o."


Blogger Jamy said...

Public transportation isn't in your vocabulary? I'm from Seattle, and I took the bus almost every day I lived there--they have one of the best bus systems in the country. No subway, sure, but that doesn't mean no public transport.

If you don't have to park at the station, metro is a great deal. But since fares are based on distance, your longer trips will cost more.

But if you drove to the city, you'd have to pay much more for parking. Perhaps you could bike to the station?

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I always wondered if that Berlin song was about the DC Metro, since I associate the Metro with long rides home after having a good time with my friends in hte city, but after reviewing the lyrics, I guess it's more European-oriented and not about any specific city...

8:32 PM  

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