It all started out very simple and convenient. I’d hop on the Red Line and 30 minutes of reading the Express later I was at the office. Then, half a year later, HZ moved to a much cooler, larger space—but it wasn’t exactly within walking distance anymore.
But I was hooked. The work was interesting. The people nice. And I would console myself that I had a reverse commute, and that many of my suburban friends were spending much longer in traffic on their treks to and from offices downtown.
Fast forward through about five years of acquiring an enduring addiction to NPR while driving by myself, several attempts (some successful, some not so much) of ridesharing with coworkers, and a brief reprieve of a small office in Dupont (these were the pre-Canvas days), and here I am riding in a big white van full of fellow HZers from the Rockville Metro to our office.
So, of course, there are the typical problems. Having to wait for people. Awkward, sometimes even uncomfortable conversations—or silences. Almost running out of gas. Even getting pulled over by the cops because of a broken brake light.
And yet, I choose to Metro and then vanpool even though it’s actually more expensive than driving. I choose to read the Express rather than white-knuckle-grip my steering wheel. I choose to forgo the few extra minutes of snoozing in the morning and instead rely on Metro to get me home faster than I-270, I-495, and the George Washington Parkway. And it’s not just because I like taking the eco-friendly route.
Because in those 15 minutes to and from the Metro, I actually get to talk to my coworkers about things other than work. I get to hear about fun happenings in the city. Soccer scores. Hobbies. Not to mention: I get home way more relaxed and with 100% less road rage.
And that’s something I can really get on board with.