Planes, Trains and Automobiles

This past weekend I made the trip from Greenville, SC to Washington, DC. I live in Greenville without a car, mind you, so my transportation options are extremely limited. Luckily I’m working on a company that is looking to change all of that. But back to my trip – here’s a glimpse at how I got myself to Washington, DC, without having a car:

Leg 1: Friend drives me to GSP Airport via Car
Leg 2: Flight from GSP to ATL via Plane
Leg 3: Flight from ATL to BWI via Plane
Leg 4: Shuttle from BWI to Amtrak Station via Bus
Leg 5: Amtrak Station to Union Station, DC via Train
Leg 6: Union Station to Gallery Place / Chinatown to transfer lines via DC Metro / Train #2
Leg 7: Gallery Place / Chinatown to Mount Vernon Square via DC Metro / Train #3
Leg 8: Walk from Mount Vernon Square to final destination

So, after a car ride, 2 planes, a shuttle bus, 3 trains, and a quick walk, I arrived to my destination. The total cost for transportation alone came to about $250 round trip. Which isn’t too bad – BUT – I have the convenience of sacrificing my time for money. Not everyone has that luxury. So by paying less, my total trip time was extended to about 8 hours each way.

I love public transportation more than the average person – a LOT more. But had I driven to DC, my trip time would have been about 8.5 hours each way (just 30 minutes more than it took me to fly!), with total fuel costs running at $170 ($85 each way). And that’s if I’d driven solo. With another person, that would be just $85 for the whole trip. And better yet – with a third person – just $57 per head for the total round trip. The more I travel, the more I’m reminded that flying – in most instances – is the pricier and  less efficient way of getting somewhere.

Here I’ve included a photo journal from the trip:

The Greenville/Spartanburg Airport…waiting for Leg #2 to get started!

Crossing the train bridge to board my Amtrak MARC train from BWI to Union Station, DC.

Waiting on my MARC train from BWI to DC at the Amtrak Station

On the MARC train and en route to DC

Arriving at the Amtrak Station in Union Station, DC

Walking from the Amtrak Station to the Metro in Union Station, DC. Arrived right at rush hour…

Metro Train #2 arriving to take me to Mount Vernon Square, DC

A view of Metro commuters waiting for their train

The escalators taking me back up to ground level at Mount Vernon Square


2 thoughts on “Planes, Trains and Automobiles

    • Hey Frank! Thanks for the comment. I flew Delta from Greenville to DC. Unfortunately, the Amtrak train from Greenville to DC takes about 11 hours and costs about $135 – one way. So although it’s convenient in that I would have had just 1 Leg to conquer, I’d have added 6 hours to my total trip time, and for about $20 more. I’ll take the public transportation hurdles in exchange for those 6 hours of lost time! Ultimately, driving would have been best. Hopefully next time I’ll find someone to ride with!

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