The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has released its Travel Trends Survey, offering a wealth of information on how people live, how they work and how they get around the region.
The full report is worth a read, but here are four quick takeaways.
Metro Ridership Continues to Decline - There was an average of 613,000 weekday trips on Metrorail in 2017, the lowest total since 2002. Ridership declined by 7 percent in the evening and late night alone between 2016 and 2017. Some have theorized that ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyfy are cutting into Metro ridership, but the travel trends survey said those services are most popular on Saturday nights when Metro ridership has been flat.
People Are Driving Less - The region’s population is growing and transit ridership is on the decline. But, the total amount of vehicle miles traveled has been flat since 2009. This suggests that more people are finding jobs closer to where they live or are biking or telecommuting more often. The region also has a higher number of retiring Baby Boomers.
Alexandria Residents Are Smart Commuters - In most jurisdictions, the number of vehicle miles traveled has been flat, but Alexandria has seen a 12.5 percent decline in vehicle miles traveled between 2010 and 2016. Fairfax City residents also did well in ditching cars, dropping their miles traveled more than 10 percent. There were increases, though, from counties further out, including Stafford County (+7 percent), Jefferson County (+6.9 percent) and St. Mary’s County (+7 percent.)
We Could Telecommute More Often - And increasing number of Washington-area employees are working from home, but there’s room for growth. About 32 percent of workers in the region currently telework, but another 18 percent said they would if they were allowed. Another 9 percent said they could telwork but choose not to. “These percentages indicate that there is ample opportunity for continued significant growth in teleworking in the Washington region,” the report said.
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