Commuter Idle 2014

Commuter Idle - 10 Finalists

Congratulations to our Season 3 Winner Thurmond Alford! Thanks to all our finalists!

Grand Prize

Our crowned Commuter Idle will win $1,000 in gas money, plus a day off from driving with a limo ride to and from work courtesy of Reston Limousine!

Two runners up will each win $150 in Exxon Mobil gas cards!

The Single Ladies Club

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My commute begins at 6:33 a.m. when my husband and I board the K12 bus towards Branch Avenue Metro. When we get there, we board the train and the fun begins…

My commute begins at 6:33 a.m. when my husband and I board the K12 bus towards Branch Avenue Metro. When we get there, we board the train and the fun begins … The Green Line hosts travelers of all ages and backgrounds (and noise levels) and there are times when I have even had the privilege of listening to rap, high school drama, single ladies club and I can't leave out sports. I transfer to the Orange line at L'Enfant Plaza and head for West Falls Church. IF I'm lucky enough to get a seat, I can play catch-up on sleep by way of a 22 minute nap which ends when the sunlight hits my face as I come out of the tunnel at East Falls Church. I get off the train hoping to catch the 8:00 Fairfax Connector bus... (side note: lately, I've been missing this bus due to delayed trains, sick customers, deer strikes, and/or switch malfunctions so I have to wait for the 8:20 bus). When it arrives, I get to enjoy Facebook time as we travel through 25 minutes or more, of traffic (it moves better once the bus hits the HOV lane) or I get in a few games of Candy Crush before getting off at the Herndon Monroe Park and Ride. Here, I attempt to catch a connecting bus which will let me out about 1/2 block away from my job. IF, however, the bus is running behind, I stay on the 950 and walk the rest of the way to work from Centreville Road (3 LONG blocks). This is my morning commute - 2 ½ hours…

Coming home in the evenings is not as entertaining as my morning ride in. It can be a joy or a pain depending on what's happening in Washington. If NOTHING is happening, I can make it home in about an hour and 45 minutes … this is not normally the case! If the Cherry Blossoms are blooming, there are delays. If the Capitols are playing, there are delays. We are now in baseball season and Nationals Stadium is on the Green line (on my way home). Metro has now started their "shuttle" trains which run only between Anacostia and Mount Vernon Square … which means I have to wait for every OTHER Green line train to get to Branch Avenue. The congestion on the platform at L'Enfant Plaza is insane. I have seen people squished/squeezed/pushed and pummeled trying to board the Green line to get to the stadium. I wait. The last leg of my journey begins when I am finally able to board a train going all the way to Branch Avenue. As long as I'm on that train by a certain time, I can be assured to catch the 7:05 bus … IF there are no delays. A minute off and it will cost me an hour … I have paid MANY hours … Evening commute? 2-3 hours (except for that time a few Januarys ago when we had snow … it took me 7 hours that day…)

And what time do I get home??? 7:30 OR 8:30 p.m. (if I miss that 7:05 bus...)

For the Love of Straight Teeth (and kids)

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I am a single mother and an orthodontic astt. in North Arlington, Va. I live in St. Marys County, My commute is about 4 hours a day, if I'm lucky.

I am a single mother and an orthodontic assistant in North Arlington, Va. I live in St. Marys County, My commute is about 4 hours a day, if I'm lucky. I work from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. with a 4 hour commute. I leave my home around 4:30 and I get home around 8:30 with good traffic, I have 4 kids 1 daughter and 3 young boys. Bills are hard to pay and gas keeps going up but I will keep pushing on for my little ones that count on me. Thank you for your traffic on the 8s it helps more then you know, and if it was not for your news I would never know what is going on in this world you guys ROCK!!!

West Virginia is Far Away

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I spend between 5-6 hrs commuting each day.

I drive 20 minutes from Martinsburg, W.V. to Hagerstown, Md., each morning to catch an MTA Commuter bus which drops us off at the Shady Grove Metro. I then take the Metro (Red Line) to Metro Center, about a 40 minute ride, then walk to my workplace, another 5 minutes. Same routine going home each afternoon, except the drive home from the bus stop to the house is about 10 minutes longer due to traffic. The commute each way is between 2.5 to 3 hrs, so I spend between 5-6 hrs commuting each day. I used to take the MARC train from 2005-2008, but it was an even longer commutes time-wise (about 6 hrs each day minimum). I've been doing this commute since Aug. 2008.

Blame the Silver Line

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I have been working in Tyson's Corner for 3 1/2 years on the Silver Line Metro job.

I have been working in Tyson's Corner for 3 1/2 years on the Silver Line Metro job. I commute everyday from my home in Chesterfield which is 119 miles door to door. I leave the house in the morning at 3:30 a.m. to try and beat most of the traffic. We typically don't finish till 5-7 p.m. with all meetings and reports so that puts me into rush hour coming home, arriving home at 8-10 p.m. I have a very understanding wife and 3 kids that I don't get to see much because of this job. Just this morning with the rain and accidents it took me 3hrs, 45min to get to work. My worst commute was 4hrs, 45min to get to work because of 95 being shut down due to exploding eggplants from a flipped tractor trailer. The worst commute home was 5hrs and 30min on a Wednesday before thanksgiving 2 years ago.

12 Miles to the Gallon

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If that's not enough here's the kicker...

Please notice my address above, Seaford, Delaware! That's 102 miles each way. It takes about 2 hours and 10 minutes to get here in the morning, and 3 or more hours to get home. I get up at 2:45 in the morning and I get home around 7:30-8:00.

If that's not enough here's the kicker; I'm a quadriplegic. I drive highly modified full-sized vans from my wheelchair. These vans have tons of VERY expensive equipment in them and they only get 12 miles to the gallon, so I could really use some gas money. :)

A Tale of Two Buses, or Two Trains?

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Which poison would you choose?

Let me begin with I have a 17 month old baby. I wake up every day at 4 a.m. so I can get to work by 8 a.m. Geesh! I'm literally up 4 hours before I get to work! Talk about tired… So, after getting myself ready and assisting with my child, I drive from my house in Stafford, Va at 5:30 a.m. to catch the 6:05 a.m. VRE to L'enfant Plaza by 7:05 a.m. I then catch the Metro from Lefant to Addison Road Station. After which, I catch the C22 Metro bus to my destination (Prince George's County Department of Social Services) by 8 a.m.

Or, me and my wife I leave the house at 5:30 a.m. together to drop our daughter at day care by 6 a.m. Then we get to a commuter lot by 6:20 or so to catch a commuter bus to Pentagon, where she works. Lucky her! That's her last stop! From the Pentagon, I catch the Metro to L'enfant and then transfer to another train to go to Addison Road Station. From Addison Road Station I catch the C22 bus to my destination by 8 a.m.

One method of travel requires two buses, the other requires two trains. Both routes are 2 1/2 hours of travel to work. Isn't that 5 hours a day traveling? I'm so tired I can hardly do the math.

Which poison would you choose? LOL!

Texas-sized Carbon Footprint

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"EVEN MY MOMMA SAYS THAT MY MIND IS GONE!" So goes the Coolio lyric as I ease onto the highway in Saint Inigoes, Maryland...

For my 81-mile one way commute from the fringe of the Washington D.C. region, all the way to College Park. The insane and punishing 4-hour round trip is made tolerable by listening to the eclectic mix of music blaring at full blast … James Brown, Rick James, Dr. Dre, AC-DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and even bagpipes help to temper the road rage that explodes every time I see a new traffic signal being installed. 30 minutes down and I'm in Calvert County … things are going well, so I hit "BRICK HOUSE" on the playlist and sing along; throw in the pipes and some marching band music and my brain is mush as I cruise through Prince Frederick listening to Wagner and Ride of the Valkyries, all the while mumbling "Charlie Don't Surf." By the way, real men don't commute by riding a train or a bus with the Koffee Klatch, sharing photos of the grandchildren and taking a nap. We DRIVE AMERICAN CARS and leave a carbon footprint the size of TEXAS! People often ask me if the commute has negatively impacted my life in any way. I just rotate my head 180 degrees and twitch for a while, then say "No. Why do you ask?" Drive on.

Three Phases, Three Hours

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For the past 12 years, my day starts at 3 a.m. in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

For the past 12 years, my day starts at 3 a.m. in Chesterfield County, Virginia. On a good day, I am out the door of my house by 4 a.m. I stop off at WaWa gas station for fuel and breakfast, then I start my first phase of my daily commute, which takes me about 3 and half hours to get to my office on F street, Washington, D.C. NW.
,br>As I drive past the north part of Richmond, Virginia, I turn on WTOP 107.7 to catch the weather and traffic on the 8s. Listening to the radio will give me the information on the current conditions as I drive through Richmond, Ashland, Doswell, Carline County, Spotsylvania County, Fredericksburg, and ending in a Stafford County commuter lot right off route 610 Garrisonville road at 5:30 a.m. First commuter phase done, now it's time to start phase two.

By this time I have heard the weather reports to determine what I need to put on or take with me from my car's commuter kit. I prepare to line up in the Slug Lines, by quickly accessing the Pentagon line vs the downtown D.C. slug line and determine this day that the Pentagon line is the best choice. So depending on the weather and the size of the slug lines normally determines if I have a wet day, dry day, hot day, or cold day. Some days it's a cold and wet morning with rain and wind drenching my suit before I get to work. I get a ride about 30 minutes later and we are heading back on to Interstate 95 north towards the HOV lines. Hopefully the traffic is working with us, then my commute during the phase is only another hours and a half. But 9 times out of 10 theres a traffic jam. We hit the pentagon exit about 7:15 am and unload from the car towards the pentagon metro station. I have complete phase two of my daily commute.

My third phase is my Metro ride to Metro Center station. I pass by the protesters outside of the Pentagon Metro station as they protest some cause or another. As I enter the Metro station, I'm wondering what delays I face this morning. This morning, my luck is with me and a get on the Yellow Line train within 8 minutes heading towards the L'Enfant Plaza. I then transfer to the Orange or Blue Line train heading to Metro Center station. Once I get to the Metro Center station and exit onto 11th street, I'm entering my building by 7:45 a.m. Now my 3 and half hour morning commute is over until my work day is done at 4 p.m. Now it time to repeat the process in reverse order to get home. What a day!

Double Beltways

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As a veteran who fits and designs artificial limbs for our country's finest it is a small price to pay for this honor...

I drive from York, Pa. to the D.C. Veterans Affairs 94 miles one way, daily. Having to go through both the Baltimore and D.C. beltways. On good days its only a 2 hour commute. Add a snow flake or a drop of rain and the drive easily can hit 3.5 to 4.5 hours sitting behind the wheel. But as a veteran who fits and designs artificial limbs for our country's finest it is a small price to pay for this honor.

That's in Pennsylvania, Right?

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Drive from my house in Philly...

Typical Monday-Friday work day: Wake up at 4:30 a.m. I leave the house before 5:15 a.m. From there, drive from my house in Philly to Perryville, Md., to catch a 6:30 a.m MARC local train to D.C. Once I reach D.C., I catch the Red and Orange Metro lines to get to Ballston. Then I walk 5 blocks to my office, so I can clock in at 9 a.m. On the way home, I leave my office around 5:15, catching the Metro back to D.C. to catch a 6:23 local MARC train back to Perryville, Md. Then I drive back to Philly. If nothing goes wrong, I'm in my house around 9:30 p.m, to get ready to do it again.