Commentary: The Great Commuter Race

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, September 11, 2009
 I took transit, Dan Weintraub bicycled and Pia Lopez drove her car. We all left at 7:15 from the same point – the corner of Chicago and Madison Avenues, about 20 miles from the Bee. I started out on foot, and it took me nine minutes to reach my bus stop on Fair Oaks Boulevard. The number 28 bus arrived ten minutes later, just one minute behind schedule, and I paid $2.50 to board.

Besides me there were only three other people on a bus that can hold 56: a graduate student from Sac State, a secretary for a local church, and a 12-year-old boy on his way to middle school, a fairly normal load even during commute hours, the driver told me.

As we got closer to the Light Rail Station, the bus got a little more crowded, but there were never more than 11 riders, tops.

The bus arrived at the train station three minutes behind schedule. I paid another $2.50 for a ticket. My train came at 8:09 and, unlike the bus, was very crowded.

At 8:40, I arrived at the Bee. From start to finish, my commute took one hour and 35 minutes.

I was dead last in the race to work, but at five bucks, my commute was cheaper than Pia’s by car, and less taxing on the body than Dan’s bike ride.

Ginger Rutland writes for The Sacramento Bee opinion pages.  (The full story of The Great Commuter Race appeared in the Bee's Forum section, Sunday 9/13.)