I drove into work today, the first time I have done so since moving to the Washington, D.C. area from L.A. almost 6 years ago.
When I lived in L.A., I commuted from Studio City to Santa Monica, 20 miles each way, through L.A. traffic. I did this for 8 years and quickly grew sick of it. One of the benefits of moving to the D.C. area was that I could take advantage of the public transportation, particularly, the DC area Metro (subway). My first day at work in D.C. was on August 1, 2002. From then, until today I have never driven my car into the office. (In fact, I went from driving 16,000 miles/year in L.A. to just about 4,000 miles/year out here.)
I estimate that I took the train into work roughly 1,200 times in the nearly 6 years that I have been out here. But today the streak comes to an end.
I drove into work because I am leaving early today, picking up Kelly at noon, and we are driving up to New York to get started on our Rainbow Room Birthday Bash weekend. So it’s certainly a worthy cause for breaking the streak. On the other hand, I’m not sure I’ll ever beat the streak now that I’ve broken it. 6 years is a long time. Couple that with the fact that I am most likely moving into the Arlington area later this year, and I may no longer have a reason to take the train every day, as I will be much closer to the office.
It’s no “iron man” streak, but it was something I was proud of. 1,200 trips (each way) mean roughly 1,200 hours I’ve had on the trains to read, sleep, listen to music, day-dream without the worry of driving. It also meant that I was doing my part as a commuter. Of course, I’ll be back on the train on Monday, but the streak will have to start over at Day 1.
Incidentally, it took almost exactly 20 minutes to get from my house to the office via car. Keep in mind, however, that I left my house at 4:55 AM. I was mildly surprised to learn that Route 50/New York Avenue has more congestion at 5 AM than the 405 and 10 freeways in L.A. do at the same time of the day.