After various and sundry experimentation, I have concluded that no matter what I do, it will take me about 12 minutes to get to my Metrolink train Tuesday and Thursday mornings when I have my classes:
- I can walk to the Richmond Heights station. This takes 10–12 minutes, depending on the signal phases along Brentwood Blvd.
- I can drive to the Brentwood station—this takes about 7 minutes, but it takes me 5 to get in the car, get out, and walk through the parking garage construction zone to the station.
- I can ride a bus (WashU Gold #1) along Brentwood to the Richmond Heights station. This takes less time, but to ensure I make the bus I have to leave the apartment 10–12 minutes before it would get to the station. And the bus only runs every 30 minutes, so unless I time things well I’ll get to the station faster if I walk.
The ideal solution to this dilemma, of course, would be if Metro had put a park-and-ride lot at Richmond Heights right next to I-170. Or if they’d stuck a station at Brentwood (or Clayton Rd) and I-170 or in Clayton Corporate Park.
I have also figured out that I can drive to the Forest Park station… but that doesn’t get me to work any sooner than the other options, and there’s the non-negligible risk of not finding parking when I get there.
So, the commute choice is basically driven by my level of laziness, how nasty the weather is, and whether or not I plan on doing any grocery shopping at Sam’s or Dierberg’s after work; if I do, then taking the car to Brentwood makes sense. But this also exposes me to the temptation of having dinner “out,” which makes the not walking worse.