Crappy Commute Stories Return to WTOP

Time again to turn all that road rage into a reward.

For the second time, WTOP is rewarding listeners for their miserable morning commutes with “Commuter Idle,” a competition to see who has the worst trek from home to work.

WTOP launched the contest this time last year. The winner then was surprisingly not one of D.C.’s garbage men, who literally have to put up with shit while commuting. It was Brenda Wells, a single mother of three who travels by car (on toll roads), MARC train, Metro train and Metro bus to get from Sparrows Point, Md. to her office at the State Department. As the winner, Wells received a $1,000 cash prize and a one-day limo ride to and from work. This year’s winner receives the same prize.

“There are so many amazing stories of personal sacrifices that DC area commuters make for their careers and families, said WTOP Program Director Laurie Cantillo in a press release. “Our goal is to tell their stories, foster a spirit of camaraderie, and provide some fiscal and comedic relief for our road warriors.  When we launched Commuter Idle last year, many listeners quipped, ‘Now I don’t feel so bad about my commute!'” (We’d like to meet the person who actually said that and test his endorphin levels.)

How the game works…Contestants submit their horror commute stories at They’re judged based on distance from work, typical commute time, inconvenience of the commute, and overall impact of the commute. Entries are accepted Wednesday through Friday at 5 p.m.

The top 10 entries will be shared on-air. Listeners can call in to comment as the list is narrowed to the top three. The best/worst part: Remaining finalists will then be accompanied by WTOP reporters to share the misery. During the week of May 20th, the reporters will share their experiences on-air. The grand prize commuter will be announced on Friday, May 24.

The two runners-up will receive $150 in gas gift cards.