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Pierce County workers drive more, use transit and telecommuting less, report shows

Federal Way light rail extension should bring happiness to commuters but it comes with a $2.459 billion price tag.

This video offers a detailed look at Sound Transit's plan to extend light rail from SeaTac's Angle Lake Station to the Federal Way transit center. The project is expected to by completed by 2024.
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This video offers a detailed look at Sound Transit's plan to extend light rail from SeaTac's Angle Lake Station to the Federal Way transit center. The project is expected to by completed by 2024.

It might not seem like it when you’re caught in an I-5 backup, but a new report says there are fewer people driving to work in the region than there were in 2010.

The Central Puget Sound region saw a 2 percent reduction from 2010 to 2017 for those driving solo or carpooling to work.

That’s according to a new report from the Puget Sound Regional Council.

The council regularly examines transportation as part of its work in planning, economic development and growth management for the area surrounding Seattle. The Central Puget Sound region includes Pierce, King, Kitsap and Snohomish counties.

“The decrease in the share of people traveling to work in a vehicle is significant considering the strong economy and robust increases in population and employment in the region since 2010,” according to the report.

Pierce had the highest share of drivers going solo or carpooling in 2017, at 93 percent. Snohomish was next at 91 percent, Kitsap at 80 percent and King at 77 percent.

King County showed the highest percentage of workers using transit at 15 percent. Kitsap was next at 9 percent, Snohomish at 6 percent and Pierce at 4 percent.

As for telecommuting, in 2010 just 5.4 percent of folks in the Central Puget Sound worked from home, according to the council. In 2017, the rate was 6.3 percent.

Kitsap County’s workforce showed the highest percentage among the four counties at 7.3 percent. King County was just below that at 7 percent, followed by Snohomish County at 5.5 percent.

Pierce County ranked the lowest in working from home at 5.1 percent.

In 2017, The News Tribune reported that half of the county’s workforce lived here and worked elsewhere.

The full PSRC report is online at https://bit.ly/2HUrGFO

Debbie Cockrell has been with The News Tribune since 2009. She reports on business and development, local and regional issues.


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