Join Club

Arlington one of the top localities in country for use of public transportation, census data shows

A Metro train heads east as traffic heads west along I-66 (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Arlington County continues to be one of the top localities regionally and nationwide for residents using public transit to commute to and from work, recent census data shows.

Earlier this year, a trove of U.S. census data was released. While much of it remains in need of analyzing, some enterprising researchers are pulling from 2020 data sets to drill down on very specific questions, like which counties have the highest percentage of workers using public transportation to commute.

Arlington is No. 10 among U.S. counties, with 27% of residents using public transportation for work commuting, according to one researcher’s parsing of the data.

A county official said the data does line up with the county’s own findings.

“The numbers, overall, don’t surprise me because Arlington has been focused for a really long time on building a community that maximizes travel options and has really rebuilt itself around rail and more recently, focused on bus,” says Arlington’s Transportation Bureau Chief Dennis Leach.

However, he notes that 2020 data should be “approached with a lot of caution” due to COVID’s impact on public transit use and the challenging task of collecting data through the pandemic year.

In 2010, according to Census data, an estimated 28.5% of Arlingtonians used public transportation to commute to and from work. By 2019, that number ticked up slightly to 29.7%.

While preliminary 2020 data shows a nearly 3% decrease in public transit use by Arlington workers, Leach notes that it’s really hard to make an apples to apples comparison to previous years due to remote work, a shift in commuter patterns, and the lack of travel in general — all of which are related to the pandemic.

“I don’t think we’re actually to see really good [transit] data… until sometime in 2022 or even maybe as far out as a full year later, in 2023,” Leach says.

What is clear, according to Leach, is that Arlington is much less auto-dependent than other local jurisdictions.

While D.C. remains number one locally in terms of use of public transit, with more than a third of residents using it to commute, Arlington is number two, well above nearby localities like Alexandria, Fairfax County, and Montgomery County, Md.

Dr. Delario Lindsey, a professor at Arlington’s Marymount University who is studying urban development and equality, agrees that there’s been a considerable effort to make public transportation more accessible in Arlington in recent years. He says the county is currently doing a “decent job” in developing and building infrastructure that’s more accommodating to non-car-related travel, driven by the desires of a younger generation.

“There’s been an identifiable generational shift by millennials and post-millennials to not to be as car-dependent,” Lindsey says. “[They] want to live in communities that tend to be more accessible to public transportation, or be walkable, or bike-friendly.”

In Arlington, this is reflected in the immense growth of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor over the last decade, which has a number of rail and bus transit options.

While Lindsey notes as well that 2020 and 2021 statistics won’t be able to tell a complete picture, he fully expects that the number of Arlingtonians using public transportation to commute to and from work will only grow over the next several years.

“I’d bet on that trend to keep going up,” he says.

Recent Stories

Good Wednesday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 7696 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…

Arlington is poised to take a proverbial weed whacker to commercial properties with overgrown lawns and all properties with obstructive vegetation. Last month, a proposal to change the ordinance pertaining…

Adoptable Pet of the Week: Koda

Meet the beautiful Koda, a glass half full kinda dog who searching for his forever home.

It appears as if Courthouse’s newest date night spot won’t be open for Valentine’s Day. The opening for the hotly anticipated Taco Bell Cantina at 2039 Wilson Blvd has been…

Let the Arlingtones surprise your friend or sweetie this Valentine’s Day with a barbershop quartet singing love songs in four part a cappella harmony! Choose from a small selection of songs in our repertoire to surprise your special someone.

$75 for two songs delivered to a place of your choice by a live, in-person quartet. Includes a classy tin of chocolates, fresh red rose and personalized card. Small mileage surcharge for >5 miles outside Arlington VA.

$30 Facetime/Skype valentine- two songs delivered ‘live’ via Facetime or Skype at an agreed-on time.

$20 virtual valentine- two pre-recorded quartet songs delivered via email with a personalized message.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Have you noticed a striking sculpture at Monroe Street and Wilson Boulevard? It’s the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington’s newest installation, Make Your Mark, by Arlington artist, Adam Henry. This sculpture celebrates MoCA Arlington’s rebranding and brings the museum’s energy outdoors.

On February 11, come inside when the museum’s galleries reopen with two new exhibitions: Rebecca Rivas Rogers: Grey View and Crisis of Image.

Grey View, in the Wyatt Resident Artist Gallery, is an homage to “gray” and a snapshot of the artist’s process. Consisting of photographs, collage, and a site-specific installation, this show is an outgrowth of Rivas-Rogers’ visual investigations into places you see on your way to somewhere else.

On the main level, Crisis of Image features artists who seek equity in today’s saturated visual world by developing new methods related to the production of images.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Valentine Pop-Up at George Mason University

Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village

Standup Comedy Showcase Starring Matt Ruby (Comedy Central)

Dead Horse Comedy Productions brings together top comedians from the DMV and beyond for a live standup comedy show!

Matt Ruby, Headliner

Matt Ruby is a comedian, writer, and filmmaker from New York City. His comedy has been filmed by

×

Subscribe to our mailing list