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Here’s what’s making crippling DC commutes slightly better, according to a new survey

The number of drivers who make the daily slog solo are going down slightly because more of them are staying home.

WASHINGTON — Commuters in our region are driving alone less and using transit and teleworking more, according to a new survey just released by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

The group surveyed more than 8,000 commuters and found that while driving continues to be the primary mode of commuting in our region, the percentage of commuters who drive alone decreased 13 percent over the last 15 years. Transit ridership such as Metrorail and Metrobus went up by 9 percent in the same amount of time.  But interestingly, teleworking has nearly tripled in fifteen years.

“Even with this growth, the potential exists for an additional 771,000 people to telework,” said the survey, known officially as the Commuter Connections’ 2019 State of the Commute Survey Report.

“Growth in and regional improvements to different commuting options like transit and teleworking is allowing more residents in the D.C. region to leave their cars at home,” said Nicholas Ramfos, Commuter Connections Director in a news release.

Transportation Planning Board Chairman and Prince William County Supervisor Martin Noh said that the survey results show a “step in the right direction,” but more could be done. “We need to continue to work together as a region to promote transportation alternatives, such as taking transit, bicycling, walking, carpooling, and teleworking, to get more cars off the road and reduce congestion.”

The survey, which is conducted every three years, looks at trends in commuting modes such as driving, carpooling, taking transit, ride hailing, teleworking, bicycling, and walking. The survey also looks at commute distance and time as well as commuters moods about different transit options.

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