(DC News Now) — The DMV is no stranger to traffic, especially during those peak rush hours. If you’d think that with more companies moving to hybrid work-from-home schedules, traffic would get better. But drivers say it’s actually the opposite.
“I would say on average, D.C. moves slower than peak LA traffic.”Abhi Uppal, D.C. driver
In June, the Census Bureau started collecting data on work-from-home trends. Here in the DMV, more people are turning to a hybrid work schedule with fewer people heading to the office. This should mean fewer drivers and less traffic but some drivers say that’s not the case.
“After summer, I guess people would stop working from home but I can’t say I’ve noticed any, like major changes in traffic patterns,” Uppal said. “During certain times, especially around rush hour times, things get really backed up, and oftentimes you can’t really pass an intersection until like, you know, two or three times of a light cycle.”
Data from June to the end of September show more people in Washington D.C. and Maryland are working from home at least four times a week.
Both the District and Maryland showed decreases in 5-day work-from-home schedules as well as an increase in fully in-person work schedules.
In Virginia, the most popular hybrid schedule has people working from home only 1 to 2 days a week.
“Comparing it [the daily commute] to the, you know, the pandemic times, we are kind of sensing more of a jump in the traffic, I think, but at least in terms of how long it takes to get around in places. I don’t see much other changes,” Northern Virginia commuter Joon Jeon said.
Others say the farther outside of the city you go, the worse traffic gets.
“It definitely gets worse in my opinion, like trying to even like go a little bit further like to Baltimore or Bethesda,” Commuter Bryson Hightower explained. “I feel like that’s because people are commuting outwards and not a lot of people live in the city.”
While many companies have moved to hybrid schedules, some commuters are forgoing cars altogether when coming to the office. Paige Moody has the option to work from home but chooses to come into the office from her apartment in Arlington. But she heavily relies on public transportation due to the heavy traffic and congestion in the area.
“I really try to take the metro because traffic here is quite often,” Moody explained. “I come from a smaller town so moving up here and seeing this traffic made me not want to drive up here.”
Data from the Census Bureau also showed a nationwide decrease in complete work-from-home schedules.