I want to love Virginia Railway Express, I really do. But VRE is making it tough these days.
I was excited back in April when I accepted a job at a firm whose office location is convenient enough to make VRE a cost-effective commuting option. The VRE commute also saves me time — 1-1/2 hours one way vs. more than two by car — and stress. I’d rather read, play iPhone games or sleep all the way into Washington than idle behind the wheel in traffic.
For the most part, I have enjoyed the VRE commute the last two months. One morning last week, I tweeted about how cool it was to see a deer and wild turkeys in the clearings along the tracks.
But everything started going wrong that very day. A train breakdown commute doubled my evening commute, and we experienced delays the next two mornings and evenings. Then tonight, VRE canceled the train I take home in the evening without giving us passengers an advance warning during the morning.
I either faced the option of waiting another hour for the next train or getting back on the Metro system, paying higher fares and asking my wife to come get me at the last stop on the Orange Line. So VRE cost me money to ride a public transportation system I hate, and inconvenienced my wife, our kids and me. That’s no way to win the loyalty of customers.
I’ll keep taking VRE because it’s still my best commuting option, but I won’t be singing the agency’s praises in my tweets or on Facebook any more.
Filed under: D.C. Commuter Diary and Travel