Please pardon the following post, which is both a brag and an exercise in Northeast corridor navel-gazing.
I left my apartment building in Queens at 5:05 a.m. today. At 7:01 a.m., I was standing on a street corner in downtown Washington, D.C.
This 116-minute trip time shatters my previous personal door-to-door record of 145 minutes. And it should finally silence the Acela partisans who insist the train takes “about as long” as flying without all the hassle.
Here’s how my morning went:
- 4:30 a.m.: Alarm goes off. Snooze.
- 4:40 a.m.: Wake up, shower, dress.
- 5:05 a.m.: Get in Uber car.
- 5:18 a.m.: Arrive at LaGuardia Airport Marine Air Terminal. According to my Uber ride receipt, the ride to the airport took 13 minutes and 12 seconds. Normally it’s 10 minutes; an exit ramp from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway was closed this morning.
- 5:35 a.m.: Obtain bagel and board.
- 5:50 a.m.: Delta Shuttle flight 5901 departs.
- 6:42 a.m.: Flight arrives at gate at Washington Reagan National Airport.
- 6:50 a.m.: Board taxi to downtown Washington, D.C.
- 7:01 a.m.: Arrive at 14th & F Streets N.W.
Yes, yes, I know what the train advocates are going to say: “You live in Queens.” That’s true. Early in the morning, it takes me about five minutes longer to get to Penn Station than LaGuardia Airport by taxi. If I lived in Manhattan, the ground transportation advantage might be 10 minutes in the other direction. Flying would still be way faster than taking the train.
The key error most of the train partisans make is showing up to the airport too early. But even if I had gotten to the airport a completely unnecessary 60 minutes before departure, I still would have had a door-to-door trip time of 144 minutes. Most Acela trips take 170 minutes from station to station.
Planes are much faster than trains.
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