Commute Challenge: Here's the fastest way from Bay Area to Lake Tahoe

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- If you've driven up to Lake Tahoe, you know that there can be some pretty big traffic tie-ups. We wanted to get a better idea of how driving there compares to flying. So we sent two people to find out!

TAHOE TRAFFIC: ABC7's Melanie Woodrow reports traveling 13 miles in 7 hours from Lake Tahoe to Bay Area

Reporter Melanie Woodrow traveled by plane and Video Journalist Juan Carlos and Production Assistant Melissa traveled by car.

Melanie says her trip cost roughly $243. That breaks down to a $147.77 flight (which would have been $70ish if she had booked earlier), $65.60 for her ride to the Oakland Airport, and $29.75 for the shuttle to Lake Tahoe.


Juan Carlos and Melissa spent $30 on gas, $26 on food, $6 for bridge toll, which totals $62.

All three left ABC7 in San Francisco at 6 a.m. Melanie headed to the airport in a taxi and Juan Carlos and Melissa hopped into a car.

So how did it go?

Juan Carlos and Melisa had an easy drive right off the bat.

As they stopped for gas, Melanie was making her way through security in Oakland and arrived at her gate.

In what seemed like no time at all, Juan Carlos and Melissa were on Highway 50.

Not long after, Melanie's flight took off at 8:26 a.m.

Things seemed to be going smoothly for both teams.

Melanie arrived at the Reno-Tahoe Airport at 8:59 a.m. But then came the long wait for her 10:30 a.m. shuttle to Lake Tahoe.

So while Juan Carlos and Melissa cruised along with no problems, Melanie waited. And waited. And waited.

Juan Carlos and Melissa were so confident, they even stopped for a selfie in Silver Fork, getting some incredible views.

Finally, Melanie's shuttle arrived to take her from Reno-Tahoe Airport to South Lake Tahoe.

She got some pretty sights and listened to some classic rock, hoping she would arrive first.

But Juan Carlos and Melissa were tasting sweet victory, enjoying the ride down to South Shore, minutes away from arriving.

And they were the winners!

But where was Melanie?

A downed tree put a pause on her trip.

And the victors couldn't help but rub it in.

And finally, Melanie arrived!

Driving won this time, but Melanie pointed out that many factors could have made a difference in her commute -- like leaving at a different time, the weather conditions and if they had chosen to meet in North Lake Tahoe instead.


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