Commuting by public transportation has its own special hazards. Today, as usual, I left work and headed for the DC Metro…my route takes me down the Orange Line to Rosslyn, where I switch trains to the Blue Line and get off at Crystal City. From there, it’s an easy ride for an hour to the end at Broad Run, in Manassas.
But there was a problem with the Blue Line today; no trains running through my station. So I hopped back on the Orange, headed for L’Enfant Plaza, where I could catch the VRE train, albeit 40 min later than the train I would’ve caught, had the Blue Line been running.
A lot of people I know would be frothing at the mouth over such a delay. A lot more would point to a day like today as reason enough to drive in and out of the city every day. “Ah, the inconvenience!” they’d shout, professing their preference to be in their own car, their own sanctuary against the commute.
But, really, I can’t see the inconvenience. Guaranteed, if I drove every day, there would be some traffic problem, some major delay once a week, at least. Plus the exhausting drive every day–DC area drivers are the worst on the planet. Trust me, I’ve seen a lot of the planet…and I’d rather drive in Naples, Italy than Washington, DC. These drivers here don’t merge, don’t use the passing lane properly, don’t know how to think 10 feet past the hood of their car.
All that Metro delay meant for me: more time to read, listen to my iPod, see a little more of the city. There was nothing I could do about the delay, so might as well enjoy it. Easy enough on a day like today, sunny & warm, despite the forecast of rain.
What I didn’t have to do: drive. Now that I’m on the VRE train, I’ve got an hour to write this blog, read some more of my book, even take a nap if I wanted to. Try doing that in your car.
SIDE NOTE: Is it just me, or do the folks who insist on being “Green” in the most obnoxious ways (“Oh, of course I recycle” “I never use PAPER bags!” etc.) seem to be the ones chugging along every day in their personal conveyances, maybe even a hybrid/electric car? Didn’t anyone ever tell them hybrid engines incur a 10 yr debt in carbon footprint just to be made (in China, natch) ? Or that electric cars still cause emissions…power doesn’t come from the electric fairy, folks! I share my carbon footprint with about 300 other folks, daily.