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Marin leads Bay Area in home-based workers

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Marin is the work-from-home capital of the Bay Area, according to new data provided by a regional transportation agency.
Of Marin’s workers, 11.4 percent work from home, the highest percentage in the Bay Area and the only county to touch double digits. Sonoma and Napa follow, both at 7.3 percent. Solano County has the fewest number of people who telecommute at 4 percent.
Five of the top 10 work-from-home cities — in terms of percentage — are in Marin: Ross, Tiburon, Sausalito, Belvedere and Fairfax, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission data. Ross ranks No. 1 in the entire Bay Area.
Working from home is surpassed only by driving alone as Marin residents’ favored way to “get” to work.
The data on commute modes comes from the MTC’s Vital Signs program — — designed to give Bay Area residents a snapshot of key transportation, land use, environmental and economic policy trends.
“Marin is getting to be an older county, as a result we may see fewer people commuting into work,” said John Goodwin, MTC spokesman. “It also points to the rise in connectivity and a trend toward connectivity accelerating. Wealthier communities are also more likely to have more people working from home.”

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In general, the report notes that shifts in regional mode choice have largely been driven by changing commute behaviors in four specific counties, one of them Marin.
While commuting patterns have been relatively stable over time, in Marin, Alameda, San Francisco and San Mateo counties the number of residents driving to work has dropped by 4 to 8 percentage points since 2006, according to the report.
“Many residents in these counties commute to jobs in San Francisco, where an economic boom has added over 126,000 new jobs during this period,” the report says. “To avoid increasingly congested freeways and limited parking, the bulk of these commuters shifted to public transit — boosting BART and Caltrain ridership to record levels.”
Golden Gate Ferry has also seen some of that windfall. The Larkspur ferry recorded ridership historic growth that averaged 3 to 7 percent from 2012 to 2016.
The Golden Gate Ferry system recorded about 2.5 million passengers from terminals in Larkspur and Sausalito to San Francisco and back in the last fiscal year, according to Golden Gate Bridge district figures.
Golden Gate Ferry has a 42-trip limit into San Francisco and is at its max. Ferry officials are likely to look at increasing the number of crossings in the future, which could increase ridership.
Golden Gate Transit bus ridership dipped roughly 10.7 percent to 3.1 million annual riders in the last fiscal year. Bus ridership exceeded 4 million in 2008, but declined after a series of cuts to service to help the bridge district balance its budget.
Nearly a quarter of Bay Area residents choose means other than cars to get to work, slightly more than both Washington and Chicago, the Vital Signs report says.
In Marin, 66.7 percent of commuters drive alone. After working from home, transit is the next most popular option at 8.9 percent. Carpooling was 6.8 percent, then walking at 3.2 percent and “other” at 3 percent. Bicycling does not have its own category.
According to the report, the top 10 Bay Area cities for residents working from home, by percentage, are: Ross, 20.4; Tiburon, 17.6; Yountville, 16.7; Portola Valley, 15.8; Sausalito, 15.1; Belvedere, 14.3; Woodside, 14.2; Atherton, 13.8; Los Altos Hills, 13.6; Fairfax, 13.4.

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