Virginia plans to do a fresh study of commuter patterns in Northern Virginia, one that disregards county boundaries to develop a comprehensive approach to transit improvements, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton said on Monday.

Population growth projected in the next decade mandates broad based solutions, they said, a week after the Washington region was found by a new study to have the longest average urban commute in the nation.

“Northern Virginia is the most congested region in Virginia, and it is projected to continue to grow both in population and employment,” McDonnell (R) said. “Anecdotal information indicates that some people now make daily commutes of 100 miles each way or more to get to their jobs. To truly address congestion in Northern Virginia, we have to take a broader view of what constitutes the region and the commuting patterns of its work force.”

McDonnell instructed the Department of Rail and Public Transportation to seek cooperation with other agencies in conducting the study, and he said it will include public outreach and feedback from local governments and transit providers.

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