Matt Yglesias cites a great infographic from Wikipedia on national commuting mode splits. The data, from the American Community Survey, again is only for work commutes for those residing within the central jurisdiction listed. This is a nice visual representation to see how DC stacks up nation-wide.
Since DC’s geographic area is small, both the population and corresponding bubble for the number of workers will be smaller than other cities. Hence, Boston (population: 609k) and San Francisco (pop: 808k) have similarly sized bubbles to DC. I’d love to see this same graph for metropolitan areas rather than just core cities, since metropolitan areas are a far more realistic representation of the functional unit of cities.
Nevertheless, given the jurisdictional limitations of the data, it’s interesting to see all the cities represented. Looking at the data in list form, it’s clear that DC is second to New York in a number of areas, but this graph shows how big that gap is – as well as three tiers of cities. New York is in a class of their own, followed by a group of transit-oriented cities (DC, Boston, Philly, SF, Chicago, Baltimore, Seattle), and then everyone else.