Washington, DC—A greater percentage of people are biking and using public transit to get to work, and a smaller percentage of commuters are driving, both alone and in carpools, according to a new analysis by the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG).
Local government and transportation officials were briefed today on the latest travel trends in the metropolitan Washington region at the TPB’s monthly meeting.
From 2000 to 2014, the share of people driving alone dropped from 67.7 percent to 65.1 percent and carpooling dropped from 13.4 percent to 9.6 percent. Meanwhile, public transit use increased from 11 percent to 15.4 percent and biking increased from .3 percent to .9 percent.
Metrorail remains the most used form of public transit. Metrorail ridership continuously increased until 2009, peaking at 748,000 weekday trips, but has since declined – ending 2015 with 701,000 weekday trips. On the other hand, Metrobus ridership increased by 1 percent and commuter rail, such as Marc and VRE, ridership increased by 22 percent during the same time period.
More people are also working from home. The share of workers who regularly work from home now totals 5.1 percent, up from 3.7 percent in 2000. The percentage of worker who telecommute, at least occasionally, increased from 11 percent in 2001 to 27 percent in 2013.
“Work is becoming less about a place you go and more of something you do wherever you are. This makes teleworking a viable option for more people,” said Robert Griffiths of COG’s Department of Transportation Planning. “Telecommuting and alternate modes of transportation not only help to reduce congestion and pollution, but also improve the overall quality of life in the region.”
Peak period congestion – from 6 to 10 A.M. and 3 to 7 P.M. – in the region decreased between 2010 and 2013, but has since increased.
Between 2007 and 2014, the metropolitan Washington’s population increased by 13 percent and employment increased by 2 percent. The region is expected to add more than 1.5 million people and 1.1 million jobs over the next 30 years, according to the cooperative forecasts developed by COG and area governments.
“As the population and employment continues to grow, transportation in the region will need to keep up,” Griffiths said. “It will be critical for the future of the region’s economy that the transportation system is able to support the additional people and jobs.”
View the Regional Travel Trends Presentation