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Travel time a top priority for DC travelers in deciding when and where to go

WASHINGTON — The quest for a reliable and reasonable-length trip drives most travel across the Washington region, according to a new survey from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Transportation Planning Board.

“One of the things that really stood out to us was when people were asked about what are the biggest factors in making their travel decisions — so their decisions on when they travel, where they travel, and how they travel — over half the people selected reliability,” COG Transportation Planner Lori Zeller said.

Forty-two percent selected travel time as one of their top two factors in deciding when, where and how to travel. The other options were travel options, affordability and safety.

Those responding to the survey ranked traffic congestion as the most significant issue that makes trips unreliable, time spent in traffic as the largest issue that makes trips take longer, and more or better rail transit as the most important thing needed to provide real travel options.

More details from the survey are expected early next year, after an analysis of a third section that allowed those asked in the survey to pin specific traffic, transit, bike, walking or land use recommendations to a regional map.

Combined, a randomly-selected group (755 people) and self-selected survey respondents (5,460 people) put 16,889 suggestions on the map.

The survey results will be a part of the public input into the region’s long-range plans. The Transportation Planning Board is in the process of updating those plans to outline what getting around the Washington region could or should look like by 2045.


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