“A lot of these workers in low-wage jobs—they either have to [move] to Prince George’s County, Maryland, or Alexandria, Virginia, and the transportation network has not changed to meet the changing demands,” says Yesim Sayin Taylor, an economist and founding executive director of the DC Policy Center, a think tank focusing on Washington’s economic and social issues. “Even though transportation is costly, it’s less costly than living in the city.”
Sub out Prince George’s and Alexandria for Chesterfield and Henrico and you‘ve got an accurate picture of what’s going on in Central Virginia. Last week, I talked with a woman who lives in the East End and drives for Lyft, and she didn’t flinch at $7 rides (one-way!) to Mechanicsville for groceries and employment. A $14 commute is one heckuva wage reduction.