Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

D.C. Commute Longer Than Most

Hoya Staff Writer Friday, September 8, 2006

In case students need another disincentive to live off campus, the U.S. Census Bureau just provided one: Residents of Washington, D.C., and its outlying suburbs face some of the longest commutes to work each day. In a survey released last week, the bureau found that commute times nationwide are down slightly, but that D.C. has seen its average one-way time increase from 29.4 minutes two years ago to 33.4 minutes in 2006. D.C. ranks behind only New York for longest commute times in major metropolitan areas. Members of the Georgetown community say they feel the strain of D.C.’s long commute time. Meg Gardener, an employee of the university bookstore in the Leavey Center, said her commute requires two modes of transportation. “Generally I need to give myself at least 45 minutes to be sure I catch the shuttle,” Gardener said. Gardener said her commute has been the same for the past seven years, and that she has noticed it get longer recently. “It’s gotten worse,” she said. “Especially when it rains or snows and people can’t drive as well.” The Census Bureau’s study indicates that traffic and congestion are spurring more D.C. residents to take public transportation. But for those looking to avoid a lengthy trip, public transportation does not always provide a reliable alternative. “I live between Dupont and Logan Circles, and I walk to Dupont Circle and then take the GUTS bus to campus,” Patrick O’Malley, an assistant professor in the English department, said. O’Malley’s commute can be as long as that of any D.C. resident. “I calculate that it takes me just over 30 minutes to get from home to my office,” he said, “including waiting for the bus.” The study also states that more than a third of Washingtonians still drive alone on their commute. Brandon Cox (MSB ’07), who drives to campus every day from his home in Adams Morgan, said it takes only about 15 minutes on average. Still, he said he could only count on a short commute if he left early enough in the morning. “If I leave like 20 minutes later, it takes like 40 minutes to get here,” he said. Cox said that between the traffic and the hassle of parking, having a car in D.C. may not be worth it. “I drive in every day, but no, I wouldn’t recommend having a car in D.C. to anyone,” he said.

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