For the very fortunate commuters in Northern Virginia a walk outside the back down and a hop in your helicopter gets you up and over the traffic and on to your destination. In case you think it isn't possible just ask the lucky homeowner who lives across the Occoquan River from me. Indeed he has his own helicopter pad in his back yard!
For the rest of us we need to find the more usual routes to get ourselves from our homes to work. If DC is your destination you have multiple choices from all points on the compass to head into town. For those who live in Stafford, Prince William and Fairfax County you can hop on the Virginia Rail Express (VRE) at one of 22 stations throughout the area. Both the Manassas and Fredericksburg lines have three stops at major locations in Crystal City, L'Enfant Plaza and Union Station.
For those who don't live close to a VRE station then the Metro gives you even more options to consider. With stops throughout the city and Northern Virginia area the metro is a popular solution to avoiding sitting in traffic at the Springfield Interchange. With metro trains running from 5 am to midnight on weekdays and 7am to 3am on weekends you won't have a problem finding a schedule to get you where you need to be when you need to be there. Parking lots are available at all of the stations and the "kiss and ride" lane is great if you are being dropped off in the morning.
One of the unusual transportation choices in our area is our famous "slug lines." Whenever you try and explain this organized hitchhiking form of getting into town to new residents it brings puzzled looks. The concept is simple. Our high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes headed into DC from the south require 3 people in the car. So drivers stop at designated spots throughout the area and load 2 additional commuters in their car headed to a similar destination and they are able to take advantage of the HOV lanes. The process is very organized and the rules of etiquette are well known. No smoking, little or no talking, no complaining and a free ride is yours. Pick up hours in the morning run the similiar hours to the HOV lanes 6 am to around 8:45 am and in the evening from 3:30 pm to 5:45 pm.
There are a number of additional transportation options throughout our area including Omni Buses, Alexandria Dash Bus and van pools all of which will get you to your destination in DC or surrounding Northern Virginia Communities.
If you decide to go it alone and hop in your car and drive then turn your radio to WTOP (103.5FM or 820AM) and listen for "Traffic on the Eights." If you hear the words backup on the Dulles Greenway, accident on I-66, or congestion at the Springfield mixing bowl then put on your favorite CD and be prepared to wait it out!
If you need help finding your next home in Northern Virginia give me a call at 703-346-2213. As a native of the area I can show you transportation options in neighborhoods throughout the area.