As noted previously in this publication, commuters in the Washington, DC region are a savvy, resilient lot. Through thick and thin the region’s commuters seem to adapt to the changing nature of our transportation choices – both good and bad. On September 21 the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s Commuter Connections staff briefed the Transportation Planning Board about the results of its 2016 State of the Commute Survey.
The survey, conducted every 3 years, examines commuting behaviors such as teleworking and taking public transit, the average length of a commute in the region, and commuters’ attitudes toward commuting modes. According to the survey, here are the four main ways that commuting in the D.C. region has changed since the last report in 2013:
Commuters are driving alone less. The share of commuters who drive alone dropped from 65.8 percent in 2013 to 61 percent in 2016.
More commuters are teleworking and taking public transit. In 2016, 32 percent of commuters reported working remotely or from home at least occasionally, which is up from 27 percent in 2013. About 20 percent of commuters reported taking a train or bus to get to work, up from about 17 percent three years ago.
Average commutes are longer. In 2016, the average one-way commute distance is 17.3 miles and the average one-way commute time is 39 minutes. In 2013, the average one-way commute distance was 16 miles and the average one-way commute time was 36 minutes.
Metrorail riders are less satisfied with their commutes and bicyclists and walkers are more satisfied with their commutes.
Metrorail riders had the lowest satisfaction of any travel mode, with a 48 percent satisfaction rate in 2016, which is down from 67 percent three years ago. People who walk or bike were the most satisfied with their commutes with a satisfaction rate of 97 percent in 2016, growing from 93
percent in 2013.
These four trends just represent the cusp of information collected during the survey process.
To learn more about the survey or Commuter Connections, contact Laura Ambrosio at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or (202) 962-3278.