Survey Indicates Remote Work Has Diminished Vehicle Miles Traveled In Maryland

Maryland Today (a University of Maryland publication) reports, “While most Marylanders continue to work remotely post-pandemic, those who brave the daily commute are overwhelmingly behind the wheel — even when the office is less than a mile away,” according to the results of the 2022 Maryland Commuter Survey of 651 adult workers conducted by the university’s National Center for Smart Growth for Maryland DOT. Survey data indicates that remote and hybrid employment “have made a significant dent in the state’s total vehicle miles traveled, . . . with a small caveat: Although hybrid workers go into the office less often, they tend to live farther from their jobs, meaning they still spend more time on the road, compared to in-person workers. . . .” The center’s report (at page 2) suggests, “If high rates of remote work continue as a ‘new normal,’ roadway congestion may be somewhat alleviated but revenues from tolls and fareboxes could diminish substantially. Changing commuting patterns may also affect other aspects of the transportation system, such as the modes used for non-work activities.” It’s estimated that statewide vehicle miles traveled might increase by 19 percent if remote work practices discontinued.