Credit: Stephanie Rudig

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Since the Brookland and Rhode Island Avenue Metro stations will be closed from now until September 3—the sweatiest part of the year in D.C.—City Paper has written up some alternative route options to get downtown. Don’t worry: SafeTrack has not returned. Metro is temporarily shutting these stations to make them more handicap-accessible and to rebuild their platforms. City Paper staff and Brian McEntee


Route: 80, 63

Est time: 45ish minutes

Pros: For those north of Fort Totten, the 63 bus line starting from Takoma is a straight shot to downtown and avoids all of the mess around Fort Totten and Brookland. But if you’re situated right in those areas, your best bet is the 80, which picks up at both stations and goes downtown via North Capitol Street. 

Cons: Godspeed if you’re stuck on a bus driving downtown during rush hour. 


Route: Rhode Island Ave. NE to NW, turning left toward downtown at some point

Est. time: 30 minutes

Pros: Privacy, air conditioning, time with your kids, and blaring whatever audio you want. The gas station right on Rhode Island Ave. NW is very convenient. 

Cons: If you have a car, you might have to pay for parking. Likewise, ride-sharing services and cabs will get expensive.


Route: Metropolitan Branch Trail to R St. NE, or continue to First St. NE past Union Station to E St. NE

Est. time: 20-25 minutes

Pros: Zoom past car traffic. The trail follows the Red Line so the scenery/graffiti will be familiar. Exercise and fresh air. Earth-friendlier than ditching a plastic straw. 

Cons: Potential for sweat. Surrounded by aggro drivers who’d rather be taking Metro. You also have to bike home, slightly uphill. 


Route: Small streets to Rhode Island Ave. NE or NW, turning left toward downtown at some point

Est. time: 75 minutes

Pros: You’ll have a lot of time to think, which you probably need. Take your commute to the next level by ditching your smartphone for the duration of your walk. 

Cons: Not everyone can spare more than two hours per day for walking. But if your obstacle is that you go to the gym or drink cocktails after work, consider walking instead.


Route: Take neighborhood streets to Rhode Island Ave. NE or NW, and then turn left toward downtown (basically same as walking, just slightly faster).

Est. time: It depends, but someone running 10 minute mile pace will take approximately 40 minutes.

Pros: Great for multitasking. You can commute, listen to your favorite podcast(s), and get a workout at the same time! If you’re marathon training, it’s a way to get in those miles without having to wake up super early or run late at night.

Cons: You’ll probably definitely want to find a shower before settling into the office, and you’ll need to pack light. Running with a laptop in your backpack is not fun.

LimeBike Scooter 

Route: Metropolitan Branch Trail to R St. NE, or continue to First St. NE past Union Station to E St. NE

Est. time: 30-40 minutes

Pros: Zeitgeisty AF. No pedaling. You can leave the scooter right outside your final destination.

Cons: Dorky AF. Hard to find a scooter nearby during the morning rush. Can get really expensive, as scooters cost $1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute.


Route: Head south on 12th Street NE, and get a nice canter going on Rhode Island Ave. NE to NW

Est. time: Hinges on how comfortable you are with lettin’ that stallion fly. 

Pros: Carbon neutral (sort of). Cool as hell. Ryan Zinke does it. 

Cons: Horses smell. Access to horses and urban trails are limited. Ryan Zinke does it.

Apparition (à la Harry Potter)

Route: Not Applicable

Est. time: Instantaneous

Pros: It’s a scientific fact: People with shorter commutes are happier. With a 0 second commute, Washingtonians just might be in a good enough state of mind to deal with the daily dumpster fire that is America in 2018.

Cons: You can’t legally apparate until you’re 17, you run the risk of splinching, and downtown D.C., like Hogwarts, may magically prevent apparition. Also, it’s not real.