Charlotte’s Changing Commute Patterns

With more people working from home since the pandemic, the area is seeing shorter commute times for cars and public transit.

1 minute read

November 8, 2023, 6:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

View of cars on freeway with Charlotte, North Carolina skyline in background.

digidreamgrafix / Adobe Stock

In an article for WFAE, Tony Mecia describes how commutes in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, home to Charlotte, have changed since before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thanks to the sharp increase in remote work—triple the Charlotte residents work from home now than in 2019—commutes for those who do still go to a physical workplace are shorter. “In 2019, the average worker in Mecklenburg reported a commute to work of 26.7 minutes. In 2022, that average commute dropped to 24.4 minutes,” a 9 percent drop.

Another shift shows fewer people leaving for work early in the morning, with more people leaving home in the 8:00am hour, and traffic overall is more spread out throughout the day.

Over 80 percent of the county’s commutes take place in private vehicles. “Last year, the city of Charlotte set a goal that by 2040, it hopes to have what it calls a “50/50 mode share,” or have only 50% of commutes be people driving alone to work.”

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