Not-So-Bad Commutes

Back in March I started a new job in DC, which effectively doubled my daily commute, from 5 to 10 daily round-trip miles. Now, 10 miles round-trip might not sound like much to a lot of people, some would probably even describe it as "short." I've made the trip on bicycle, public transportation and by automobile. Regardless of the mode, the commute is about 60 - 75 minutes back and forth.

(from richardmasoner on Flickr)

The first few weeks, it was just fine; but lately, it's started to get tedious and boring. While I definitely appreciate the extra miles I get in on my bike each week, there are some days I just want to be home and on the couch the moment I leave the office.

The difference isn't insignificant either. Adding 30 minutes to my commute each day means I spend 2.5 extra hours each week, or 10 extra hours each month, just going back and forth from work. It adds up pretty quick.

I know that my commute isn't bad, relatively. I know there are people with unbelievably painful commutes. People who spend hours each day in their cars or on public transportation. One reason, among many, that I suspect people do it is because when the first started, it "didn't seem too bad." It never seems that bad at first, because it's like a new adventure. But after a while it starts to get tedious, and that tediousness turns into boredom, which ultimately festers into frustration. But by then it's usually too late to do much about it.

My lease in Arlington expires in a month and a half, and needless to say, I'm looking forward to finally living and working in the city.


    On May 10, 2011 Anonymous said...

    I know what you mean about commute hours adding up. For a while, I worked in Baltimore while living in DC. Taking a combination of MARC train and Metro involved 90 minutes each way. When I switched jobs back to working in the District and had an extra 3 hours on hand daily, I didn't know what to do with myself. It was the first time in my life that I got up and worked out BEFORE going to work!


    Thanks for sharing Rob. I live in LeDroit Park on U Street and commute the 5 miles to Arlington by bike most days and it takes 30 minutes. And I'm not fast. And its a lovely commute through Dupont and Georgetown and then over the Key Bridge. My Metro commute from Shaw to Court House station takes about 35-40 minutes. If you need any help with commuting questions please visit our web sites at and and our partner site And welcome to the U Street neighborhood.
    Chris Hamilton
    Arlington County Commuter Services