Teleworking accelerates; number of single drivers slows
Give the wheels a break and work from home.
Of the 600,000 Washington, D.C.-area workers, at least 25 percent telework occasionally, according to a Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance survey.
That’s up from 11 percent of area residents who teleworked in 2001.
The 2010 State of the Commute, commissioned by the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, telephoned 6,629 randomly selected employed residents.
Workers were divided into three categories: the inner core (Alexandria and Arlington counties and Washington, D.C.); the middle ring (Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George counties); and the outer ring (Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Loudoun and Prince William counties).
Many stay-at-home workers turned to telecommuting because of their employers. Twenty-nine percent said they work at home because their company implemented a formal telework program. In fact, teleworking has grown in all surveyed industries including the private-employer, nonprofit, federal-agency, and state- and local-agency sectors.
Since 2004, the federal-agency sector has more than doubled its teleworking allowance from 7 percent to 27 percent in 2010.
Still, nearly half of respondents said teleworking is not permissible at their company.
In the future, potentially 500,000 area residents could enter the teleworking arena, which would relieve congestion on metropolitan area roads.
Residents are already taking solutions to ease congestion into their own hands.
Overall, the number of drivers riding solo dropped from from 70 percent in 2001 to 64 percent in 2010. Conversely, the number of transit users rose from 17 percent in 2001 to 21 percent in 2010.
The closer to Washington, D.C., a rider lives, the less likely he or she is to drive alone.
Broken into categories, fewer than half of inner core residents drive alone compared to 65 percent of the middle ring and 76 percent of the outer ring.
The top reason single riders have switched their mode of transportation over the years isn’t due to boredom or to help relieve congestion for others – it’s to save cash.
Eighteen percent of residents who use an alternative commuting mode started doing so to save money, according to the survey. A change in job or work hours accounted for 15 percent of commuting mode change followed by the lack of a vehicle.
But for outer-ring commuters – such as Loudoun residents – it’s not so much about saving money as it is about saving time.
Commuters who live in the outer ring were more likely to use High Occupancy Vehicle lanes when they are available because on average, HOV lanes shaved 28 minutes off outer-ring residents’ commutes.
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