Housing Complex

Commuting Trends Benefit D.C., Part II

I didn't get the memo, but apparently today is Commuter Data Day. First we had the Transportation Planning Board's eye-opening study showing a dramatic shift from car commutes to transit and bike commutes, and an increasing preference among D.C. workers for living in the District. Now that's joined by a similar study from the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University.

The latter shows an increase in the number of people commuting into the District for work from 493,629 in 1990 to 539,543 in 2010—a 9 percent jump. That's a minuscule increase compared to the growth in commuters into other nearby jurisdictions. Fairfax County saw a 62 percent increase in commuters from outside the county, Prince William County had a 68 percent increase, Frederick County had a 127 percent increase, and Loudoun County had a staggering 213 percent increase. With the exception of Arlington County (8 percent), all jurisdictions saw their in-commuter numbers increase by a double-digit percentage.

This dovetails nicely with the TPB study's finding that 90 percent of the workers added to D.C.'s labor force between 2000 and 2011 both lived and worked in D.C. The District is growing, but the number of commuters into the city hardly is, by regional standards. People who work in D.C. increasingly want to live in D.C.—and that's great for the city's bottom line.

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