Virginia Commuter Survey

panel commuter survey results

 
Overview

The current COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way many Virginians commute. The purpose of the Virginia Commuter Survey is to understand how commutes are changing and identify opportunities to improve commuting during and after this pandemic.

For the purposes of this survey, commuter refers to "a person who travels regularly between home and work, or works from home." The targeted respondents for this survey were commuters who live and/or work in Virginia.

The graphics and interactive dashboards below summarize the responses gathered between June 29 and July 17, 2020. In order to track changes in commuters’ habits and preferences, additional rounds of the Virginia Commuter Survey will be conducted throughout the pandemic.

Commute Modes

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed not only how Virginians commute, but also if they are commuting at all! Use of all commute modes besides driving a personal vehicle dropped more than 50% compared to pre-COVID commute habits. How are these commuters working instead? At the time they completed the survey, 53% of survey respondents report working from home at least part time. Many commuters working from home plan to take their usual modes when returning to their workplaces, but nearly half of those currently working from home hope to continue to do so at least part time in the future. 

The Virginia Commuter Survey received 5,493 responses. 53 percent of survey respondents report currently working from home at least part time. Of that 53 percent, 48 percent plant to continue to work from home at least part time upon “return to work.” Many commuters working from home during the pandemic plan to take their usual modes when returning to work.

 
Safety Preference

When asked about the top three safety measures that would improve how they feel about riding transit and carpooling, respondents prioritized wearing masks and efforts to encourage social distancing in the vehicle, including more frequent service and marked off seats. 37% of respondents who are currently commuting via bicycle switched from a different mode, indicating that commuters see bicycling as a good alternative to their usual commute during COVID-19. New bike lanes and shared use paths were the top safety measures respondents reported would improve how they felt about bicycling.

When asked what would improve how they feel about taking transit during COVID-19, respondents prioritized wearing masks and avoiding overcrowding through measures like more frequent service and marked off seats on the transit vehicle. When asked what would improve how they feel about carpooling during COVID-19, respondents prioritized wearing masks and avoiding overcrowding in the vehicle. Most bicycle commuters continue to bike to work during COVID-19. 37 percent of respondents who are commuting during COVID-19 via bicycle switched from a different mode. To improve how they feel about bicycling, respondents prioritized bike infrastructure, such as new bike lanes and shared use paths. Reducing the number of vehicles on the road and lowering speed limits were of next importance.

 

 
Working from Home

Three times as many commuters are working home at least once per week compared to before COVID-19. Of those, 76% are currently working from home full-time, compared to only 13% before. 60% of those working from home do not know when they will be returning to their workplace, though 80% of respondents would like to work from home at least one day per week after the pandemic.

76% of respondents currently working from home are doing so full time. Respondents living in VDOT districts within the urban crescent are 20 percent more likely to be working from home. The urban crescent includes the Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg, Richmond, and Hampton Roads Districts. 80 percent of respondents would like to work from home at least once per week after COVID-19. 13 percent of respondents worked from home before COVID-19 60 percent of respondents working from home at the time of the survey do not know when they will be returning to their workplace.

 

 

For inquiries related to this survey, please email planning@vdot.virginia.gov.

 

Page last modified: Sept. 10, 2020