12.04.2008

Taking the Train

I took the train to work today, and it was quite the adventure! I took it for a reason that won't matter to you, dear readers, so no sense going into that. Nothing to worry about, though, I promise :)

So, I live relatively close to three train stations, and using any of them will get me to my destination in a similar amount of time. That said, I do have to drive to whichever one I use, and thus have to park my car. Luckily, NJ Transit tells me what type of parking is allowed at which stations, and in which lots. That sounds more helpful than it actually was, I'm afraid.

Station 1 - no parking for non-permit holders. (Permits are $300 per year, obviously used by regular commuters!) One lot, I think, had non-permit parking, but only after 12 noon.

Station 2 - same story, second verse.

Station 3 - has all kinds of parking (permit and non), and a map showing which lots allow which types. Great, except the map is exactly 3" square on screen, with a scale of 1/4"=200ft, and there's no way to enlarge it. (That's almost 1/2 mile in 3"...) So, I look the best I can (my eyesight isn't getting better!) and leave for the station.

I finally find one place where non-permit parking is allowed, and have park at the absolute farthest end of the lot from the station. That makes it almost a 2-block walk... then buy the tickets and wait for the train, as I've missed the last "good" option while talking with the parking lot attendant.

I did get to knit a bit on the train, before arriving in Newark, where I have to either walk a zillion miles or transfer to the light rail. On the advice of a co-worker, I opt for the light rail... and so fork over another fare. Another three block walk and I'm finally at work -- almost 20 minutes late. If I had left at the same time and driven, I'd have been early.

Luckily, the return trip wasn't quite so bad. After all, I already knew where my car was! And a co-worker dropped me at the train station so I could skip the light rail ride. I was lucky to get the express train home, so technically it was a shorter trip, but I spent 15 minutes waiting for it, so it still took longer than driving.

That was interesting to me... in my head (!), the train was speedier, somehow. I'm not sure why I assumed that -- probably because I think the traffic is ridiculous and driving is slow! On the plus side, I was able to do some knitting. I could have used the time to read blogs, which would have been a little more efficient overall, but I was tired and hot, and thought reading might not be the best choice. (Although I don't easily get motion sick, I'm sure you'll agree an evening commuter train would not be the place to test myself!)

I realize that probably wasn't the most fascinating read ever, but I felt like sharing, so here I am :)

1 comment:

katelnorth said...

one of the things - in fact, possibly the only thing - i miss about working is the commute I had. 20 minutes on the train, then another 15 or so on the tube - the number of books I used to get through - sigh. No one in their right mind would think of driving from here to central London, though...