News

We Tried 10 Ways To Commute in DC. Which Was Best?

One of them made me very late to work.
Photograph by Flickr user Rich Renomeron.

DC’s never had more commuting options—or more hype around them. Intrepid reporter Jackson Knapp tried every method from his Cathedral Heights home to our office near Farragut Square.

Jump Bike

Cost: $2.
Door-to-door time: 25:11.
These “e-bikes” offer an electric boost each time you pedal, making it easy to go uphill.

Metrobus

Cost: $2.
Door-to-door time: 27:40.
I had to sprint to the stop. (The 37 comes infrequently.) Thank you, driver, for waiting.

Dockless Bike

Cost: $1.
Door-to-door time: 28:11.
These can be tough to find uptown after 8 am. I eventually scored an orange Spin bike on Wisconsin Avenue, zipped through traffic, and dumped it right outside the office.

Dockless Scooter

Cost: $5.50.
Door-to-door time: 29:30.
Fast but uncomfortable. And where to drive it? Cars honk if you’re on the road, and pedestrians scowl if you’re on the sidewalk.

Lyft

Cost: $23.10.
Door-to-door time: 31:19.
My driver went the wrong way to get me, but when he did finally appear, he offered lovely (though unsolicited) dating advice.

Uber

Cost: $22.76.
Door-to-door time: 32:07.
The driver came fast but then took a bad route through Rock Creek Park.

Capital Bikeshare

Cost: $2.
Door-to-door time: 33:05.
I found one easily near my house, but parking was a problem: Docks fill up fast downtown, so I burned five minutes looking for a slot.

Metro

Cost: $2.25.
Door-to-door time: 33:18.
It’s a hike to my nearest station, which accounted for much of the elapsed time. I saved several seconds by brisk, left-side escalator walking.

My Car

Cost: $13 (for parking).
Door-to-door time: 35:34.
Free advice: Never drive down 19th Street south of Dupont Circle during rush hour.

Walking

Cost: $0.
Door-to-door time: 53:04.
I felt inspired and invigorated while strolling through some of the city’s prettiest streets. I was also late for work.

This article appeared in the June 2018 issue of Washingtonian.

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Jackson Knapp
Assistant Editor