How I Commute To Work is a series that highlights each team member of Arlington Transportation Partners, so you can see how we practice what we preach.
Before joining the team at Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP), I lived in Florida which has little to no alternative transportation options. A sprawling transportation system was actually one of the key factors in my decision to move to the DC region. I had never had a job less than 10 miles away from home and I always commuted by car. Now that I’m in the DC Metro region – my options are limitless. Sometimes I try new routes just to see what I can stumble upon, like that time I tried Split. Best of all, my commute to work never exceeds 30 minutes using sustainable forms of transit. The options truly are never ending and switching to Metro, walking or a bicycle can save you tons of money and time in the long run.
I also have a special circumstance which makes my commute a little bit more enjoyable, my girlfriend, Reema, happens to work just one Metro stop away and we work very similar schedules. While I prefer biking to work when going solo, the two of us often commute together to chat and grab breakfast along the way.
My Commute Options
Walk + Metro
There are two Metro Stations on the Orange/Blue/Silver Lines only one mile from my apartment, about 15 minutes on foot. Reema and I will often walk from our apartment in Shaw down to the station. The walk helps us wake up before stepping into the office and get a little bit of exercise since we walk at a fast pace. Not to mention the bonus of learning your neighborhood on foot and finding new local restaurants and shops to check out!
When our schedules don’t quite match up, I often hop on my bike and pedal my way through DC. I have a basket on my bike that holds my locks and backpack so I can avoid getting too sweaty. I use the L and M Street cycle tracks for most of my ride and cruise to the Key Bridge before crossing over to Rosslyn, some stretches even have a protected bike lane. When I want to avoid the busy roads of M Street in Georgetown and elsewhere in DC, I will sometimes use P Street to navigate the more residential parts. Biking, as is also the case for my colleague Keara, is the fastest way for me to reach the office, about 25 minutes or so in my case. Our building has parking for the myriad of riders within our office and the racks fill up to capacity on most days.
Capital Bikeshare + Metro
When Reema is working late and we won’t be commuting home together or I am heading into work and can’t ride my bike in the afternoon – I will often use Capital Bikeshare to reach the Metro. This option is similar to my walk + Metro commute, except I substitute the one mile walk with a one mile bike ride using Capital Bikeshare. The biking portion helps to reduce my commute by about 5 minutes in comparison to walking – mostly because I still have to walk to the nearest Capital Bikeshare station to pick up a bike (about 0.3 miles).
During the more extreme weather, I will opt to walk to my nearest Metro Station, Mt. Vernon Square. Walking and biking can become dangerous in icy and snowy conditions without the proper equipment. I simply take the Yellow or Green Line down to L’Enfant Plaza and switch to the Orange, Blue, or Silver Line to make it to Rosslyn.
So, how do I find out all of my options?
Talking with someone who regularly uses transit is a great way to start your journey into alternative transit, email us for a custom commute plan. You can also follow this blog for tons of great advice on alternative transportation.
If you are planning your commute well in advance, you can use a new multimodal tool called CarFreeAtoZ, developed in Arlington County, to find your best possible commuting options. The website shows you your fastest commute options, how much money you can save and even how many calories you could burn!
Let us know what you think about CarFreeAtoZ in the comments below - we'd love to hear your feedback.