Mostly Cloudy 79°

Hopefully this Metro station has working air conditioning.

Hopefully this Metro station has working air conditioning.

Wikimedia Commons
Listicles

7 Ways Commuting Sucks When it’s Hot

Commuting can be a lousy experience even on a normal day. When the temperature and humidity combine to turn the Washington region into a sweaty mess, your travel to and from work can hit a whole new level of misery.

Let’s examine the many ways that hot and humid weather can make for a hellish commute.

Standing and Waiting for Buses and Trains

It’s before 8 a.m. It’s already in the mid-80s and unbearably humid. And there you stand on the train platform or bus stop. You are sweating like a hog in your dress shirt and questioning all of your life choices.

Brutal Biking

You like to pedal your way to work to get the exercise and reduce your carbon footprint. That’s great! But when it’s this hot, that cycling workout can get really tough. You’re sweating. Your Spandex is chafing. Suddenly, that enjoyable workout to start your day feels more like punishment, and if you’re not prepared with enough fluids we may end up peeling you off the asphalt.

The Temperature Transition

Your office is pumping the air conditioning, and that’s a good thing. But when there’s a sudden 30 degree drop in temperature when you walk into the building, that’s a shock to the system. Women will be dressed sensibly in dresses mean for hot weather, but then we find them wrapped in cardigans in their cubicles. The human body is not designed to deal with drastic changes in temperature, and this probably contributes to the spread of summer colds and other ailments.

Stations With No Air Conditioning

Maybe someday before the end of time, they’ll fix the AC at Farragut North. But until then, we suffer. There’s nothing better than walking outside on a 99-degree day and then heading underground into a crowded, uncooled station.

Buses and Trains With No Air Conditioning

You wait on a platform in the heat, only to enter a confined space that is a) hotter and b) has poorer air circulation and c) is filled with miserable people. This sucks.

Train Heat Restrictions

When temperatures top 90, MARC train and VRE commonly install heat restrictions on certain lines. Hot temperatures can cause rails to buckle, so trains take care to travel as slow as 40 miles per hour. This adds time to your ride in. Add in a long, hot wait for the train or a train with broken AC, and you’re in Miseryville.

Car Trouble

When it gets hot, your car is more likely to break down. The American Automobile Association last week said it is expecting an increase of calls for Emergency Roadside Assistance this week, estimating that 33,000 motorists will report themselves stranded over the July 4 holiday. Engines can overheat. Car batteries can die. Tires can expand in hot weather and explode. Standing with a broken down car on the side of a scorching highway? That’s pure misery.

Be the first to know about major events, transit disruptions and road closures. Subscribe to our free Capital Shortcut newsletter, served up for breakfast on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings

Related articles

  1. Rhode Island, Brookland, Fort Totten and Takoma stations affected.

    Metro Red Line Shut Down for Six Weeks Beginning in Late July

    Work on the Blue, Orange and Silver Lines will follow on Aug. 11-26.

    Read More
  2. Some bus riders may have experienced delays on July 4.

    Metro Reports Bus Delays Due to ‘Unauthorized Labor Action’

    Many Metro workers reportedly came to work late Wednesday, leading to some service disruptions on Metrobus.

    Read More
  3. All underground Metro stations now have WiFi.

    All Underground Metro Stations Now Have Free WiFi

    Metro is moving to have WiFi service available at all 91 stations by year’s end.

    Read More
  4. Should all Red Line trains travel to Shady Grove?

    Metro Staff Recommends Elimination of Grosvenor Turnbacks

    Metro could add $1.25 million to its 2019 operating budget to allow Red Line trains to travel to Shady Grove.

    Read More