ACS Data – How DC stacks up

Bike Pittsburgh, courtesy of Streetsblog, has some great, sortable data of how various cities stack up on the transportation aspects of the recently released American Community Survey data.   Bike PGH provides the context, ranking cities based on their percentages using transit, walking, biking, etc.  Looking at how DC stacks up against the other major cities in the United States gives a great deal of perspective as to how we’re doing as a city.

Again, remember that these are commute trips only, and for city residents only.  It’s important to understand the limitations of the data, but this is an even comparison for all the cities involved.  Obviously, this is still not an apples to apples comparison, as many ‘newer’ sunbelt cities are still aggressively expanding their city boundaries via annexation, while cities like DC remain both constrained by static political boundaries and surrounded by substantially urban jurisdictions (Arlington, Alexandria, etc).

Nevertheless, taking all of the statistics together gives a good sense of how DC stacks up.

Biking commute mode share:

  1. Portland, OR – 6.0%
  2. Minneapolis, MN – 4.3%
  3. Seattle, WA – 2.9%
  4. Sacramento, CA – 2.7%
  5. San Francisco, CA – 2.7%
  6. Washington, DC – 2.3%
  7. Oakland, CA – 2.1%
  8. Tucson, AZ – 2.0%
  9. Albuquerque, NM – 1.8%
  10. Boston, MA – 1.6%

Walking commute mode share:

  1. Boston, MA – 14.3%
  2. Washington, DC – 12.1%
  3. Pittsburgh, PA – 11.1%
  4. New York, NY – 10.3%
  5. San Francisco, CA – 9.4%
  6. Seattle, WA – 9.3%
  7. Philadelphia, PA – 8.6%
  8. Honolulu, HI – 7.9%
  9. Minneapolis, MN – 6.1%
  10. Baltimore, MD – 6.0%

Public transit commute mode share:

  1. New York, NY – 54.8%
  2. Washington, DC – 35.7%
  3. San Francisco, CA – 31.9%
  4. Boston, MA – 31.2%
  5. Philadelphia, PA – 26.8%
  6. Chicago, IL – 26.7%
  7. Pittsburgh, PA – 20.9%
  8. Baltimore, MD – 19.5%
  9. Seattle, WA – 17.7%
  10. Oakland, CA – 17.1%

Drive alone commute mode share (presented lowest to highest):

  1. New York, NY – 23.3%
  2. Washington, DC – 37.2%
  3. San Francisco, CA – 38.4%
  4. Boston, MA – 41.1%
  5. Chicago, IL – 50.5%
  6. Philadelphia, PA – 50.7%
  7. Pittsburgh, PA – 52.8%
  8. Seattle, WA – 52.9%
  9. Baltimore, MD – 57.9%
  10. Oakland, CA – 58.1%

All in all, that’s a strong set of rankings.  Bike PGH has the full sortable data if you want to take a deeper look.  For the sake of brevity, I’ve only listed the top ten in each category here.

DC stacks up well in these numbers.  The biking mode share is quite western (Albuquerque?), and transit mode share strongly correlates to cities with heavy rail rapid transit systems.

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One Response to “ACS Data – How DC stacks up”

  1. Visualizing DC’s commute – City Block Says:

    [...] residing within the central jurisdiction listed.  This is a nice visual representation to see how DC stacks up [...]

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