I-95 Express Lanes extension (copy)

An extension of the I–95 express lanes opened in North Stafford in 2017. An increasing number of commuters in Virginia spend 90 minutes or more traveling to their workplace.

Are you a super-commuter?

If you are, you’re not alone.

These so-called super-commuters—with at least a 90-minute trip each way—increased by 32 percent between 2005 and 2017, according to a report compiled by Apartment List, a company that helps people find places to rent.

“While the prospect of a three-hour daily commute may seem like a burden that few would be willing to bear, we find that such arrangements have grown increasingly commonplace in recent years,” states the report’s conclusion.

The report found that “super-commuting is common in areas closer to the urban core, where workers who rely on public transit may face rides of 90 minutes or more, even if they’re not traveling great distances in terms of mileage.”

However, the report also found that super-commuting is common for blue-collar workers in some “rural pockets.”

Rappahannock County has the highest share (14.4 percent) of these long-distance commuters in the D.C. metro area. But that rural county’s workforce of just more than 3,300 is tiny compared with Fredericksburg and its surrounding counties.

All Fredericksburg-area counties had a higher percentage of super-commuters than the national average of 2.9 percent. But none topped Pike County, Pa., which at 17 percent had the highest share of super-commuters in the country.

Not surprisingly, Stafford and Spotsylvania counties had the area’s largest super-commuting crowd.

Based on 2017 data, of the 66,865 workers in Stafford, 7,505 made the super commute, the most on both counts for counties in the region.

Stafford also had the biggest area spike in workers and super-commuters between 2009 and 2017. The county had 57,057 workers in 2009, with 4,994 making the long commute.

Spotsylvania’s 2017 workforce stood at 60,979. Of those, 6,510 were super-commuters, a small increase over the 6,292 who made the time-consuming trips in 2009.

King George had the biggest percentage spike (50.2 percent, narrowly edging Stafford) in super-commuters in the study’s time frame. There were 881 super-commuters in the county in 2009. Eight years later, that figure jumped to 1,323.

Only one area county, Caroline, experienced a decrease in super-commuters, a figure that dropped from 1,058 to 953 while the workforce increased from 12,490 to 14,121.

The report notes that many super-commuters use transit.

In the Washington, D.C., metro area, 11.2 percent of transit users were super-commuters in 2017. Of commuters who drove, 4.2 percent were super-commuters.

Update set for Rappahannock Crossing project

The Virginia Department of Transportation will host a public hearing to update details of the northbound Rappahannock River crossing project this week.

The project will add three lanes in the median of Interstate 95 between U.S. 17 in Stafford and State Route 3 in Fredericksburg. There also is a southbound crossing project, which also will add three lanes to the interstate in the same area.

The meeting will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at James Monroe High School. Displays and plans for the project will be on display, and VDOT staff will be available to answer questions.

Those who attend will be able to submit comments.

Work on the project is scheduled to start in 2021 and be completed in 2024.

Work on the southbound project has started, with the completion slated for 2022.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436 sshenk@freelancestar.com

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