Virginia Commuter Survey

Commuter Survey Results Banner - for Phase 2

 
Overview

The Virginia Department of Transportation in partnership with the Department of Rail and Public Transportation is collecting data associated with travel to and from work in response to COVID-19 in Virginia.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people are traveling, including, to and from work. 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 are commuters who live and/or work in Virginia.


FAQs

Who is the intended survey audience?
This survey targets people who work and/or live in Virginia who typically commute or work from home. 

What is the purpose of this survey?
This survey aims to capture changes in commuting patterns and preferences associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What is the goal of this survey?
The goal of this survey is to adequately plan for short- and long-term changes in how people travel to work in Virginia. 

What agencies are involved in this survey?
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) have partnered in survey development and will coordinate with commuter resource agencies, transit agencies, localities and other stakeholders to support survey responses.

When will this survey be open?
This survey aims to track commuter preferences and needs over time. Multiple rounds of surveys are planned as the COVID-19 pandemic response evolves. The first round occurred in June/July 2020. The current round of the survey begins on Oct. 8, 2020, and will remain open for at least three weeks.  

How can the survey be accessed?
The current phase of the survey is available at https://vafallcommutersurvey.metroquest.com/.

Will there be future surveys as Virginia enters different phases of opening?
This survey aims to track preferences for travel to work and needs over time. The first round collected responses in June/July 2020. The second round will capture responses in October 2020. Additional surveys are planned in the coming months as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.


Survey Phase 1 Results

The graphics and interactive dashboards contained in the panels below summarize the responses gathered between June 29 and July 17, 2020.


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.

 


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.

 


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.

 

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

 

Page last modified: Nov. 17, 2020