By Margo Tovar
Transportation plays a huge role in today’s society but differs from city to city. During a 10-day adventure split between Washington D.C. and New York City, my classmates and I used transportation to its full potential.
To begin our journey to Washington, D.C., we flew by airplane to arrive in Baltimore, Maryland. The flight broke the barrier for three students who hadn’t traveled by airplane before. The flight itself was a total of 1,645 miles and about three hours in the air. After arriving in Baltimore, we switched gears and traveled by an Amtrak train. The Amtrak is a fast way to move between cities that border each other. Taking the Amtrak was nice because we were able to view the countryside while traveling. At the station, we were led to a local bus stop that delivered us to our first hostel stay. Here is where it all began. We’d be adapting to life in D.C where the locals walk almost everywhere they go. There, the people walked to and from work on busy streets at all hours of the day.
We toured monuments, museums, well-known buildings, and the city as a whole by foot. To the locals, it seemed as if cars were the least of their worries and walking was the fastest/easiest route. Even in the House of Representatives, a ton of walking was being done. To get from one part of the building to another required a lot of walking.
Next was our trip to New York City. We traveled by a Bolt Bus, which was an affordable alternative to another plane ride, to Madison Square Garden/Penn Station. It took about four hours, and we traveled more than 206 miles. The cost for the bus ride was only $12. After arriving in NYC, we traveled to our hostel by subway. Traveling by subway was an experience in itself. We learned to move fast or get left behind.
New York City had a sense of urgency to it. Everywhere you turned, people were on a mission to get to where they were going, and they wanted to get there fast. Everyone and everything was so fast paced. The doors on the subway open for about 20-30 seconds to let people on and off of the subway. It travels at nearly 75 miles per hour and makes getting from point A to point B so much easier in this big city.
The streets of NYC are already so over crowded with locals and tourists that driving seems to be more of a hassle. However, cabs are an option in the Big Apple; we took a cab to Yankee Stadium, and we had a wonderful experience all because of our driver. He was so humble and had the best customer service. We requested music and he blared it for us so that we could enjoy our cab ride and we sure did. The cost for our cab rides usually averaged around $8.
On the way to Obscura Antiques and Oddities, we did not encounter the same experience. The cab driver was dodging all over the streets and getting close to pedestrians and other vehicles. He made us nervous. If you feel that you have what it takes to survive your first cab ride, be my guest and take the risk.
Larger vehicles are more likely to be seen in the streets but mostly to chauffeur people around. Hardly any families are riding around. Loading money onto an unlimited seven-day metro pass for $29 is so much easier than pumping gas into your car and so eco-friendly for the environment. The subway can take you almost anywhere you want to go, and it passes through quite frequently. You also can enjoy live entertainment. The best part of all is that it runs 24-7! Some students took a trip by ferry to Staten Island and passed by the Statue of Liberty. The cost for the ferry ride was free. I’d highly recommend taking the ferry to view some of our nation’s history.
Throughout the entire trip, the key point is that we were able to budget our travels and had an amazing experience doing it all. Having some economic choices was another positive side to the trip. If you are planning a trip somewhere soon, I urge you to explore your options and take full advantage of the most eco-friendly and less expensive transportation options.