Does Anyone Here Commute to Baltimore?

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Topic: Does Anyone Here Commute to Baltimore?

Travel and Transportation May 25, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Does Anyone Here Commute to Baltimore?

I am considering applying for a temporary (one year) position in Baltimore, and am wondering if the commute would be worth it. Does anyone commute to Baltimore, and if so, do you drive, take the train, or some other method of transport? How long is your commute?
FYI, I will be living in Southwest.

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I’ve worked in Baltimore for a few days at a time. If my work is near Penn Station, I’ll take the train otherwise drive. If I’m driving, it’s usually an hour. Taking the train adds 20 minutes (Mt Pleasant to Union Station) plus the amount of time to get from Penn Station to the workplace.

Worked in Columbia for about a month and a half on a project, not a bad drive from Petworth, all the traffic is going the opposite direction, at least until Columnia 🙂

I’ve done this commute for the past year or so, commuting from Columbia Heights to the Hopkins campus in Baltimore. I mostly do metro>MARC>shuttle in Baltimore, and only drive if I have to be up there late or do errands. Best case scenario, if I take an express MARC train and the timing for the shuttle works out, it’s about an hour and 15 minutes door to door. Worst case scenario (slow MARC train, waiting for metro and shuttle), it’s closer to two hours. Driving is about an hour door to door – even at rush hour the traffic doesn’t really get bad until you are right in Baltimore. 
I work from home a lot, so I generally only do this commute maybe three times per week, and that doesn’t bother me – I get a lot of work done on the train. But there were a few months where I had to commute 5 days per week, and that was pretty draining. I think it would be pretty difficult to do if you had a strict, 5-day 9-5 type job. If you have some flexibility (could telecommute or have a lot of control about when you arrive and leave work) it’s not too bad. 


I did this commute for a year a few years ago.  The key for me was to make the commute on either end as short as possible.  We lived within a 10 minute walk of Union Station and in Baltimore I could walk or take the bus to my office depending on my mood.  That made it much for doable for me.  I enjoyed reading on the train — in fact that’s the only thing I miss.  The two biggest issues with MARC are that if you have to work just 5 minutes late or your bus is late it could mean missing the train and having to wait 30-45 minutes for the next one.  Also the weather can easily bring MARC to a standstill and take down a huge part of the system.

I currently do this commute every day.  I do Capital Bikeshare from Adams Morgan to Union Station to MARC.  There is a 7:20 AM express train directly to Penn Station so the morning commute is a little over an hour.  Unfortunately, there is no true express in the afternoon so it takes a little longer.  It is wearing and I am currently looking for another job in DC.  However, if its a temporary position its a doable commute especially with a defined end in the future.  The monthly MARC pass is $175 if you employer doesn’t pay for your transportation costs. I will be on the train bright and early tomorrow.

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