Dear PoPville – Commuting to Tyson’s Corner

Photo by PoPville flickr user Caitlin H. Faw

“Dear PoPville,

So I just got the unfortunate news that my office is moving from dc to tysons. I live in dc (right between the dupont and u street metro stops) and do not have a car. i’ve tried the metro/bus combination, but it takes about an hour to get out to tysons. Any tips from readers about making the commute? Any carpool or more direct bus options?

I really appreciate any tips/suggestions!”

Is slugging a good option?

118 Comment

  • What’s wrong with “about an hour?” Sounds like an easy commute to me.

    • Yeah, anything under two hours is great! My 15-mile commute used to take an hour and a half each way, and that was on a good day.

      That said, I’d be annoyed if my office moved to Tyson’s. My 25 minute walk/10 minute bike commute is pretty nice, and I hate driving in Northern VA.

      • Life is too short to spend multiple hours commuting each way.

        • That’s how I feel. At the time I was doing it to save for a downpament, and I did, but in retrospect I’m not sure it was worth it. It’s so unhealthy to spend 3 hours in a car each day.

  • Car or metro/bus it’s going to take you about an hour to get our there either way.

    Moving or getting a new job are the only ways to reduce that commute.

  • Try contacting Commuter Connections to see if they can connect you with someone else who drives out there every day.


    Check out the ridesharing program.

  • Easy. I do Trinidad to Reston and that one is 1hr on a bad day. You should be looking at about 35 mins, if that. Get across the river and then do GW pkwy -> 123. Golden.

    • How early do you get on the road? I work with people that do that commute (in reverse) and they have to leave the house by 5am to avoid the really bad traffic.

      • 7:30am. It’s really not that bad. It won’t work for OP though, as I just realized he/she doesn’t have a car. I missed that part. Oops.

      • The “in reverse” part makes all the difference. Living in DC and commuting out to the suburbs makes all the difference. Most everyone clogging the roads during rush hour are living in the ‘burbs and commuting into DC.

    • I agree. Your best route is Florida Ave to P St to Rock Creek Pkwy to Virginia Ave to 66 to GW Pkwy to 123. It’s opposite of the typical traffic flow, so you’ll really only have congestion in DC and then again in Tysons. It shouldn’t take you longer than 35 minutes unless there’s a wreck or construction. I work out by Dulles and I can get all the way out there in 45-55 minutes on average leaving at normal times.

  • You might want to consider chartering a helicopter.

    Also, keep your eyes peeled for the metro in 2020.

  • The metro/bus thing doesn’t sound so bad. Just bring a book or take up a portable hobby like knitting. As others have said, the drive will probably take just as long, and it will be more stressful. I’ve had five panic attacks in my life, and all of them occurred while commuting to/from Northern Virginia– only the most aggressive drivers can survive out there.

  • the fastest way to get there at rush hour is to bicycle out the WO&D trail. Lots of hills so you will need a shower at work but you will get a workout while everyone sits in traffic. It’s about 40 min ride from 17th and U.

    • Wow, you can bike 23 miles per hour on the bike path? I thought that was illegal (and also darned tough to maintain).

      • oops yeah I was thinking of Petworth to Ballston which is like 30 min. Tysons would be at least an hour.

    • Also, if you do this every day, you will be completely ripped in 6 months, it will save you a crapload of money in the long run, and its doable year round if you have the gear (initial financial investment of a good bike and winter gear, and you will still come out ahead financially fairly quickly).

  • that sucks. I’d probably quit my job if they wanted me to commute to tyson’s.

    barring that option, I say see if they’ll let you telecommute a couple days a week and then suck it up for the rest.

    • I know people who have left their jobs when Tysons commutes were on the table.

      • Same here. Either move closer to work or find work closer to home, because that hour commute is about average and not going to improve any time soon.

        • I don’t think the length of the commute is really the issue– as others have noted an hour is below-average for the metropolitan area– but the hassle and stress is a concern. Having to synchronize schedules for several different forms of public transit is annoying, and driving out to Tyson’s is a nightmare. I’d start looking for new jobs.

          • An hour is below average for a total commute, this commute will be an hour each way, approximately twice the average commute of the metro area, which is still pretty terrible.

          • I find it hard to believe that the average commute in the metropolitan area is only 30 minutes. I don’t know anyone besides myself who is that lucky. I’d say the average is more like 1.5 hours each way.

          • The average commute time hovers around 30 mins, but there’s probably a lot of variance. Think about it — 90 minutes is long enough to get north of Baltimore from DC during rush hour. No way that’s typical for a DC resident.

          • Tres, that’s not true. I used to commute from Annandale to SE DC during rush hour and it took 90 minutes on average. Same amount of time via public transit, assuming there were no issues with the bus, yellow line, green line, or shuttle.

            Maryland traffic is a little better from what people tell me, but I still don’t think you could get to Baltimore in 90 minutes during the rush.

          • Nope, I’m right. I’ve done that commute hundreds of times, trust me.

            Baltimore to DC: 90 to 120 minutes during morning rush.
            DC to Baltimore: 60 mins to Camden Yards. Add 10 – 15 to get to Fells. Add 20ish to get to Hampden.

            I give myself 90 – 100 minutes to get to 83/695 — the north side of Baltimore.

            30 minutes is the average commute in DC, regardless of what your commute was from *not* in DC.

          • I think we’re talking about different things. You’re right that the average commute time of a DC resident is probably something like 30 minutes.

            I was originally responding to the person above, who claims that this is the average commute time of someone living in the DC metro area. That is absolutely not true. 30 minutes will only get you about 3-7 miles during rush hour in the suburban areas, and most people have longer commutes than that.

        • I bought house in Petworth for the easy commute to my I Street job. Then the company relocated to “North Bethesda” outside the beltway. There is no “reverse commute” benefit living on the Georgia ave corridor. It is gawd-awful.I manage to ride my bike the 15 miles each way a couple times a week and it’s a mental lift as well as great exercise.

      • I love my job, but I think I’d have to quit if involved going to Tyson’s.

        • That is the pact my husband and I have with each other… Right now he walks to work and I work from home – pretty ideal. However, if for any reason his office moves to some place like Tyson’s or Reston we are outta here. The hassle/being away from family/high cost of DC just wouldn’t be worth it.

      • I turned down a job that paid almost four times what my current one does, and a major reason for that was not wanting to commute to Tysons (of course, there were lots of other reasons, too!).

        When I did work in Tysons, I did it without a car. My trick was to live where the commute would be as easy as possible, while still putting me within easy access to DC. That, for me, was Ballston. I could either metro to West Falls Church and take a connector bus, or take the 23A (the 2C is another option). It didn’t take me any longer than it would have to drive, and I listened to a lot of podcasts or slept (I get carsick if I read on the bus). However, I don’t think public transit would be as easy if your hours are long/unpredictable.

        If the idea of moving out of DC is unpalatable but the commute from your neighborhood is too long, maybe move a bit closer to Foggy Bottom or Farragut West? Even Eastern Market’s on the same metro line.

        Not to mention, in (more than a few) years, you’ll be able to metro straight out there!

    • What JM said.

  • I don’t think slugging is an option– that’s mainly for people who work in DC and live really far out. I used to live just inside the Beltway and still wasn’t close enough to any of the slug lines.

    • and this would be a reverse-slug anyway. no one is going the other direction at this time.

      • That’s not true, actually. I do the reverse commute and I see lots and lots of cars with DC tags headed west on 66 every morning.

        • I see quite a few DC tags heading north of Friendship Heights on Wisconsin every morning as well. Definitely a fair amount of DC residents working in Maryland and Virginia. At least I only have to go to Bethesda.

        • Maybe but people pick up slugs so they can get on the HOV lanes. The HOV lanes don’t work for a reverse commute.

  • Has jet pack been mentioned?

  • Quit.
    I did after 2mos – It was the worst.

  • I love cycling, but I’ve only tried getting to Tysons from DC twice, and it took me close to two hours one way. It’s a 15 mile trip, with stop lights and lots of hills–can you sustain 15-20 MPH for an entire hour on a bicycle? I know I can’t.

    It’ll be an hour driving, no matter what. I took Metro to West Falls Church and transferred to buses there–there many good bus options once you get there.

  • If you don’t make enough money to buy a car, the job probably isn’t worth keeping anyway.

    • This sounds like a rather uninformed comment.

      Lots of people in D.C. don’t have cars and don’t want them. (I’m not one of them — I like having a car — but I know there are many.)

      For someone who lives between Dupont Circle and U Street, getting a car wouldn’t just be about buying a car; it would also be about paying $200/month or more for a parking space, or taking chances on finding street parking after coming home from work every day.

      A lot of people like being in an environment where driving is optional rather than mandatory.

      • Exactly. A lot of hassle and expense for something they’ve been able to get by without until now.

      • There’s absolutely no need to rent a space. Parking around U or Dupont isn’t always easy, but you can *always* do it. It adds between 0 and 10 minutes to your commute — let’s say on average 5 mins per day. 15 mins on the worst day of the year.

      • This sounds like a rather uninformed comment.

        It isn’t a matter of liking or wanting a car, it’s a matter of needing a car. If your job is in Tysons, you need a car. If you can’t afford a car because of said job in Tysons, quit that job.

    • To me, this sounds like a budget problem as well. I really appreciate reading all the creative solutions everyone’s sharing, but the simplest solution for the OP (not knowing a lot about their specific situation) is most likely to buy a car.

      If they can’t afford a car, I recommend moving to a cheaper neighborhood or downgrading their living space. Rent near 395, get a studio, etc.

      • Yikes–swap your U Street place for a studio apt. “near 395” to afford a car to commute to Tyson’s? I’d definitely find a new job before I made a trade-off like that. Life’s too short.

        • SouthwestDC

          Hey, there are some decent neighborhoods near 395. It’s not for everyone, but I live in SE Capitol Hill and can get to 395 in less than 5 minutes. I imagine rent would be cheaper here, too. Of course, you’re further east so I’m not sure it would be better for commuting to Tyson’s.

        • I agree. It is kind of smart to quit a job, rather than move 6 blocks east to Bloomingdale — which is cheaper than U Street, yet still within walking distance to it.

          Most people here indicate a 30 minute or so commute to Tyson’s from U. That’s not bad at all — probably comparable to the OP’s commute today. My shortest door-to-door commute ever was 20 minutes from Dupont to Chinatown. Yes, driving is stressful, but not enough to quit a job over.

  • +1. I am impressed it only takes an hour. I live in Columbia Heights and commute to Merrifield/Dunn Loring every day. Driving takes me about 40 to 55 mins. The metro takes about 1 hour and 10 mins.

    It is a bitter experience though. We live in the city, in part, because we appreciate the convenience. It hurts when we find ourselves commuting two hours a day.

    Still, I agree, an hour commute is fairly reasonable for this area. I know, that’s sad.

    • I go from NW (cathedral heights) to Merrifield/DunnLoring everyday! It takes me about 35 min. in the morning, 45 in the afternoon. It could be worse, I could be in the 15 mile long traffic going opposite me both ways everyday. At least for having to commute to the cesspool/armpit of the world that is known as NOVA, you go against the main traffic.

      • I do 14/U to Dunn Loring in 25, reliably…what way do you take? I take 9th to 395 to GW and 50W. Not the shortest but reliably (99% of the time) 25 mintes door to door. 10 of that is getting to the tunnel.

        • I go backroads through Georgetown, cross the Key Bridge, then take 66 to Nutley Street and backtrack up rt-29….or I’ll take rt-29 all the way out. 1/3 of the commute is getting through georgetown (all 2 blocks that I’m there for). Bus/Metro takes 1hr 15min from my house (N4- farragut – orange or blue — dunnloring then ~1/2 mile walk to the office…however bad it sucks, i’d still rather be in my car for 35-45min.

  • If an hour is too much then the only, and I mean the ONLY option is buying a car.

    I drive from Columbia Heights to Reston for work, right off the toll road and it takes 35-40 minutes in the morning (I leave my house at 7:15am and 40-45 at night (leave the office at 5:30).

    • What route do you take to get to Reston? I’ve had to do it a few times and can’t seem to get there in less than an hour so I’d appreciate any tips!

      • I go from Columbia Heights to:

        1. Rock Creek Parkway to Rt 66
        2. 66 to Dulles Toll Road.

        I just reverse in the evening. There is a fundamental differnece between being on Rt 66 before 7:30 in the morning. If you aren’t on it by 7:30am, you just added a minimum of 10 minutes to your commute.

  • I did this commute for 4 years. Between learning the best times to take either Chain Bridge, 66, or GW Parkway and finding the short cuts through the neighborhoods around Pimmit, Fall Church or McLean, the commute to from DC to Tysons isn’t bad at all. 40-55 minutes usually. There are also bus options from the West Falls Church or Dunn Loring metro stations. Time it right and it’s about 1 hr on the dot. The metro will be there in 2-3 years. Suck it up and get a car or take the bus.

  • It takes min of 1 hour on the best of days.
    Tysons sucks any way you slice it!

  • DC to Tysons isn’t that bad. I’ve commuted from Petworth to Tysons daily since 2007 and only on rare occasions (aside from the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas) does the commute border on being intolerable. The key is to get across the Roosevelt Bridge by 0730–this will allow you to quickly cruise up the GW Parkway and then down 123 through McLean. For me that means being on the road by no later than 0715 or so, which gets me to my desk just before 0800. Even if you leave later than that you still shouldn’t have more than a 45 minute outbound commute, barring accidents and weather. This morning I left home at 0800 and arrived at my office at 0842.

    The reverse commute, on the other hand, can be a really big headache given ongoing Metro and HOT lane construction. Your biggest jam will be in Tysons itself as people fight to get onto the beltway. Once you clear VA-267 you can generally count on a clear run all the way to the DC line at Chain Bridge, though that area also gets congested at the Canal Rd and Arizona intersection, mostly between 1700 and 1900.

    Bottom line: don’t despair! DC to Tysons and back is in my opinion one of the easier commutes overall, unless you happen to live very close to your office. At least you don’t have to ride in from Chantilly. I’ve been out on I-66 west in the pre-dawn hours and even then the lanes into DC are gridlocked.

    • Assuming he/she buys a car and is a morning person that’ll work.

      • +1. I would hate having to be on the road that early.

      • Or lease a small car for two or three years while the Metro extension is under construction. My point was that DC to Tysons and back is far from the worst possible commute one can have, and in this economy/job market quitting over it is absurd.

  • I do it one way on my bike from Pleasant Plains. I don’t have to go in during rush hour, so I ride to McPherson, bring my bike on the train to Dunn Loring, and then ride to the office. It takes an hour, and isn’t hard enough to need a shower when I get there.

    Then, I ride home via the W&OD and Custis trails. It takes me about 70 minutes, and I definitely need a shower when I get home.

    It works out to about 20mi a day, which I found really hard in the beginning, but now really enjoy, and it’s healthy and cheap, too. (Although burning ~1000 calories a day going to work means I wind up eating a ton).

    • Oh, before I could ride the whole way, I used to rent a locker at Dunn Loring and leave the bike there over night. Walt t the train, train to Dunn Loring, then ride to the office. It took a long time (maybe an hour an 20 minutes), but I found it much less stressful than driving. I actually have a car, just hate using it in traffic.

    • Do you still enjoy it when it’s raining? Or snowing? Or 100 degrees?

      • I don’t mind the heat or cold, and I actually love the snow – I put on studded tires and have a grand old time. Cold rain is no fun, though, and ice sucks. The thing is, driving in traffic makes me miserable every single day.

        I certainly wouldn’t claim my commute is ideal for everyone – it’s not even ideal for me. I’d be happy to just ride to McPherson and back every day. But to me, it’s preferable to driving, even on days when I’m miserable, cold at the extremities and sweaty in the middle, pedaling uphill in the dark and getting pelted in the face by freezing rain.

        I’ve never driven home from the office and felt great about the commute. I feel that way after riding lots of the time. Even on crappy days, when the ride itself is no fun, I often feel pride at having toughed it out when I get home. My comfortable bourgeois lifestyle doesn’t lend itself to that feeling too often.

  • The fastest way is a car on “off hours”. I used to metro from columbia heights … about 1 hr 15 mins. Biking home used to to take the same amount of time. I can do petworth to tysons in the morning and afternoon in about 35 mins leave before 430pm and in the morning around 715am.

  • Quit. No job is worth that BS, and companies need to realize they are going to lose young talent and retain only the 8:30-4:30 middle management paper pushers when they move to the ‘burbs.

    Also, I’ve done some pretty batshit bike commuting (43 miles a day 3 days a week at one point), but you couldn’t pay me to do central DC to Tyson’s every day. The Custis is dark, hilly, and poorly maintained, and the roads in Tysons are comically bike-unfriendly. The poster above has a decent idea about doing part of it on the metro, but still, there are 30 mile round trip bike commutes I would do an that isn’t one of them.

    • Companies aren’t going to cater to the lone employee who lives in the District. For most people Tyson’s would be more convenient than DC.

      In my office I’m the only one who doesn’t live outside the Beltway. Everyone else would probably be happy if we moved to the ‘burbs.

      • My experience in this area is that the young talent lives in DC, and even if you can get them to come to the suburbs they usually get sick of it within a year and leave for something in the city.

        • Really? All of our young talent, aside from myself and one admin girl who lives in Georgetown, are happily situated in the suburbs. You’d be surprised!

          • Yeah, not to mention “young talent” is a joke. Companies will work hard to retain experienced people with unique skills. A 25 year old with 1 year of internship experience and a chip on his shoulder? Not so much. They put out 1 ad on craigslist and all of a sudden they have 500 resumes of “young talent” to choose from.

    • What world do you live in? Realize they are going to lose the young talent? Is this the same talent that is apparently so valuable they don’t get paid enough to afford a reliable car?

      My company moved its offices from the District to Tysons last year, mostly to cut the cost of their office space in half and not one person out of an office of 230 people quit.

      Those of you making 30K a year and blowing it all on $8 dollar beers at the local hipster joint du jour can just randomly quit and pick up another random unsatisfying, low paying job, but for the the rest of us adults it isn’t an option.

      There was no way in hell I was going to quit a 175K a year job over some childish reason like “I don’t wanna drive 40 minutes in my commute to Tysons”.

      If you are so valuable in the job market where you can make subjective decisions like that, be my guest.

      • 1) I don’t think most PoP readers are making $175K.

        2) There is a middle ground between having a $30K/year job and a $175K/year job.

        I doubt anyone would quit a job with no replacement job in mind just because of the drastic change in the commute… but it would certainly make me start looking for other jobs.

        • Actually, I make a similar six figure salary and am a dedicated POP reader. Also, I’m a Columbia Heights resident. I have many similar friends who read POP too. there’s probably more of us than you think!

          • I guess you folks must work for the private sector? Or are you all SESes or something?

        • I agree with this. I just bought in DC, in part so I could be closer to my job. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done– my quality of life has improved so much in every way. I love my job, but if my employer moved out to Tyson’s I would consider switching to the government side. I’m certainly not leaving the neighborhood I love, and I’d be reluctant to subject myself to that commute every day. It’s not just about the time drain– it’s incredibly stressful. When I used to commute from VA I had chronic back and neck problems, I was tense and prone to anxiety attacks, and mildly depressed. Given how frequently accidents happen on NoVA roadways, I consider myself lucky to have never been in one (though there were plenty of close calls). There’s more to life than just the job.

      • Amen…well, sort of. The tone was sort of prickish, but you’re getting at what I was thinking.

        Switching jobs at my level just isn’t that easy and it’s naive to assume it would be easy for anyone else. And let’s leave the cash aside…what if the OP loved nearly every aspect of his or her job? You wouldn’t just pick up and leave because your commute got longer.

        The reverse commute isn’t that awful assuming a) you are able/willing to buy a car and b) you don’t mind driving. Or, assuming the job is worth it and your housing situation allows, you might consider *gasp* moving to Northern VA.

        • And, for others, no matter the job, they wouldn’t stay in it if their commute became 2 hours a day.

          And for others, moving to *gasp* northern VA is that awful of a thought.

          Everybody has their preferences & hopefully makes the choices that feel best for them.

          • Wow…that was my whole point. It’s preferences and choices and it’s not that easy to just go one way or the other. Some would stay, some would go. But it’s not always as easy to just switch jobs. In case you haven’t noticed, unemployment is kind of high.

      • That’s not childish — it’s caring about the environment, quality of life and things other than money.

        Sure, we all have preferences (and yours are clearly WAY different than mine), but you don’t need to imply that people who want a different life than you are whiny children.

        • Some people do care about the environment, but they just don’t care enough to make any sacrifices when it comes to their own wellbeing.

          • I don’t really see the problem with 40 minutes to an hour to Tysons. I live in U street and metro to Crystal City every day and door to door its 35 minutes, and thats what, 5 miles as the crow flies, so an hour to Tysons ain’t bad.

  • And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.

    And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Commute to Tysons Corner, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with traffic, and with congestion, and with lane closures, and with the aggresive drivers of the earth.

    Revelation 6:7-8

  • Buy a car, make it easy on yourself…

  • The problem is not driving out there in the mornings… it’s coming back in. I drive from 14/FL to Reston. My morning departure time is between 8 and 9 am and it’s always 50 mins. (via GW/123/267) Coming back to the city is a completely diff story. If I leave Reston at 5, I don’t get back to my place till anywhere between 6:20 and 6:45. If I leave at 4:30, I’m home by 5:30. Tysons is a clusterfuck at the toll rd and 123. Take public transportation to Tysons, you’re better off.

    • Wait a minute.

      You leave for ~9 am, get there at 10, and you leave work to go home at 4:30 or 5:00?

      Considering you have a ~7 hour work day (6 with lunch) I am not sure you have much to complain about.

      • I think it’s pretty clear that this person has a flexible work schedule. On that days he leaves home at 8, he probably leaves work earlier, just as on days he leaves home later, he stays at work later. Maybe you have to punch in and punch out every day, but a lot of people have the freedom to come and go without adhering to a strict schedule, assuming it doesn’t affect their ability to get their work done. That doesn’t mean that they always (or even ever) work 6 hour days.

        • My boss understands the traffic issues I have to deal with so she allows me to work one day from home a week, (usually Fridays) and the other days she knows I clear out all my e-mails first thing when I wake up and log back in another hour from home when I arrive. Working for a european based company requires you to get up early and replying to e-mails while I have my breakfast. I push everything back out to them and then drive in to the office just before Rock Creek goes two way. By 4pm it’s a ghost town on e-mail so I use that time to get a jump on the ride back home. When I get home I clear out any US e-mails that came in on the hour drive home. If she made me be there by 8 every day and made me stay till 5:30, she’d be dealing with one grumpy employee. The only reason I still work for this company after 11 years is for this very reason. They are very flexible. Otherwise I’d be working somewhere downtown and enjoying my daily walk to and from work. And being carless. Oh did I mention, I get paid very well and that’s the other perk of driving out there everyday. Once this gig is up, I’ll stick to a job that I can walk too or metro close by too. Oh one other thing… I summer many weekends in Rehoboth so she also lets me work remotely and extra day of the week when I go down for the weekend. So another bonus for sticking it out. 🙂 My boss rocks!!! 🙂

  • I worked in Tysons this summer. With the metrorail construction it takes AT LEAST an hour to get home, usually more. If it’s raining, 1 hour 40 minutes. And that’s in a car. I can’t imagine how long the bus would take.

  • I live in Dupont and work in Tysons. Never takes me more than a half hour to drive to work, but we have flexible hours and I never leave my apartment before 9am. Coming back home is a different story, but I just go home a little late. 66 to Rt. 7 going out isn’t all that bad, and I usually take 495 North to GW Parkway coming back in.

    It would be worth it to just get a beater instead of dealing with the nightmare Metro-to-bus commute, which could double or maybe even triple your commute time (I did it for a few weeks once after my old car was totaled).

  • life sucks. buy a car and some audiobooks.

  • Do you have any coworkers you could commute with, at least part of the way? Maybe they could pick you up at a metro stop? Can you telecommute a few days a week?

    I used to commute an hour by train every day and it eats up a lot of time, but I got a lot of great reading time. Might be worth investing in some sort of e-reader or tiny laptop that you could also use to catch up on email, etc, while you’re traveling. Or take up a portable hobby like knitting.

    Fwiw, despite the comments here, you are not crazy if you don’t want to do this or if you don’t want to buy a car. You might want to consider looking for a new job.

  • I’d quit. Let them know why you quit. If they’re moving out there for cheaper rent (or whatever), they should know they’re losing a more valuable commodity in their employees.

    I know several offices in the ‘burbs that have been opening satellite offices in DC to accomodate their city-dwelling employees. Perhaps mention that and/or telecommuting prior to resigning, though.

  • Commuting to/fro work takes a lot out of some people. I used to commute in from Waldorf (90 to 120 mins minimum to get home). I did that for 5 years. It felt like my life revolved around work (getting there, being there, getting home, having 2 hours to clean and eat and then going to bed early so I could get up at 4:45 to commute back in and do it all again). I was miserable. I finally moved into DC within walking distance to work. Now my agency is moving us all out to Tysons and no where near a metro. I’m quitting. I can’t stand the thought of spending 3 to 4 hours everyday just getting to and from work again.

    • Yes, I used to be in the same boat commuting to DC from Alexandria, which usually took 90 minutes each way. My weekdays would be completely consumed with commuting and working, and the weekends would be wasted doing all the errands and housework I had no time to do during the week. Not much of a life! I, too, moved within walking distance to work and it’s incredible how much more I can get done everyday.

  • DC to Tyson’s isn’t bad if you can do it at the right time. See if your employer will let you adjust your hours. I used to do DC->Reston in under a half hour most of the time, but I also left DC around 10am, and would leave Reston around 7pm. Occasionally I’d get stuck in bad traffic, but 80% of the time I was home in 25-30 mins.

    Seriously, see if your employer will let you have a little flexibility in this regard. Or, as others have said, see if you can telecommute for part of your week (or part of your day?).

    Lastly, on the way back, I’d often use (Georgetown Pike) -> Clara Barton -> AZ Ave -> Mass Ave.. If you get on at Georgetown Pike, it’s basically an extended exit ramp to the Clara Barton

  • I was in the same boat as the OP, company moving out to Tysons. I convinced them to let me telecommute 3 to 4 days out the week, otherwise I threatened to leave.

    When I do commute to Tysons, I leave DC at 9 and and tysons no later then 4:30. Any other time and the commute is hell.

    I agree with the previous poster who talked about losing talent, a lot of my co-workers quit or as soon as they found another job they quit.

    A lot of companies (especially IT companies) are moving out to Tysons because the rent is cheap compared to any place easily accessible.

    • My company is also possibly moving to Tysons Corner and I am terrified as I live in Takoma Park.

      Right now my commute to Dupont is only about 40 minutes each way via metro and bus, no driving. I like the time to myself for reading and playing video games. I also like that it is a reliable 40 minutes, and that my rent is very cheap in Takoma with a DC salary especially.

      However, if the company moves I would be forced to drive. Without traffic it takes me 30 minutes to get to Tysons. I imagine with traffic it would easily be 1 hour – 1 hour 15 min each way, and not a reliable time estimate either as it will vary tremendously based on weather and holiday shopping traffic.

      I like the company so much I’d be willing to relocate to the McLean area if need be, but the area seems so soulless, especially compared to town with as much character as Takoma park. It has always appeared to be a giant office park with chain restaurants and no scenery whatsoever.

      The entire thing is really does seem like technology companies are being lured there by the idea of much more bang for the buck in terms of office space and amenities.

  • I go from Columnbia Heights to Tysons every day. Some months I use Metro only, some months I drive.

    When I drive I go down 16th –> K, K –> Whitehurst, Whitehurst –> Key, Key –> GW. When the Beltway’s backed up I go the back way into Tysons, via 193 and some back roads.

    The subway takes longer but is far-and-away more predictable. My employer also makes it possible for me to pay for the commute out of pre-tax dollars. That’s a big deal compared to driving. Remember that you’ll pay $.40 / mile driving, every single day.

  • I commute from H st to Tysons using metrobus/metrorail/fairfax connector. around an hour door to door usually. almost 2 hours a day of reading a book and not driving. not that bad. though i’d take a shorter commute in the district if i could in a heartbeat.

  • Unless there’s some reason you really, really want to live in DC, just move to Tysons. Rent is vastly cheaper out there, your income taxes will be lower, and you’ll have a short commute.

    Yes, it’ll be a pain to come into DC to do stuff. But how often do you go out? You go to work five days a week. Do you go out and do stuff in DC five days a week? Almost no one I know does.

    • Rent is not the much cheaper out in Tyson’s. I also don’t see much of a difference in income taxes since I moved to DC from NoVA. You will, however, need a car out there, and that’s an added expense.

      Furthermore– there’s more to living in DC than “going out”. There’s a big quality of life difference, even if you have to commute out to the suburbs.

  • I live around U and 17th and I see a lot of DC tags as I drive to my job in Tysons. Sometimes I wish there was an express bus from the area out to Tysons like they have for suburbanites going into DC. I’m just not sure if there are enough DC commuters out there.

    I wonder how one would generate interest in such a thing? I also wonder where the ‘gray’ line of the metro will start in DC? It would be killer to take metro to Tysons without having to change trains.

  • I live off U St. and reverse commute to Rockville everyday. I spend about 2 hours in the car each day and I cannot imagine not having a car for this. At the same time I love my job and neighborhood so I deal with my commute. Books on tape are my best friend. And my ride is great time to catch up on phone calls with family and friends. Try to look on the bright side 🙂

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