IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Will a driving restriction policy reduce car trips?—The case study of Beijing, China


  • Wang, Lanlan
  • Xu, Jintao
  • Qin, Ping


A driving restriction policy, as one of the control-and-command rationing measures, is a politically acceptable policy tool to address traffic congestion and air pollution in some countries and cities in the world. Beijing is the first city in China to implement this policy. A one-day-a-week driving restriction scheme was expected to take 20% of cars off the road every week day. Using household survey and travel diary data, we analyze the short-term effect of this driving restriction policy on individual travel mode choice. The data also allow us to identify which demographic groups are more likely to break the restriction rule. The estimates reveal that the restriction policy in Beijing does not have significant influence on individuals’ decisions to drive, as compared with the policy’s influence on public transit. The rule-breaking behavior is constant and pervasive. We found that 47.8% of the regulated car owners didn’t follow the restriction rules, and drove “illegally” to their destination places. On average, car owners who traveled during peak hours and/or for work trips, and whose destinations were farther away from the city center or subway stations, were more likely to break the driving restriction rules. Therefore, Beijing is probably in need of more comprehensive and palatable policy instruments (e.g., a combination of congestion tolls, parking fees, fuel taxes, and high-speed transit facilities) to effectively alleviate traffic congestion and air pollution.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Lanlan & Xu, Jintao & Qin, Ping, 2014. "Will a driving restriction policy reduce car trips?—The case study of Beijing, China," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 279-290.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:67:y:2014:i:c:p:279-290
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2014.07.014

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lucas W. Davis, 2008. "The Effect of Driving Restrictions on Air Quality in Mexico City," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(1), pages 38-81, February.
    2. Eskeland, Gunnar S & Feyzioglu, Tarhan, 1997. "Rationing Can Backfire: The "Day without a Car" in Mexico City," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(3), pages 383-408, September.
    3. Wang, Rui, 2010. "Shaping urban transport policies in China: Will copying foreign policies work?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 147-152, May.
    4. Schuitema, Geertje & Steg, Linda & Forward, Sonja, 2010. "Explaining differences in acceptability before and acceptance after the implementation of a congestion charge in Stockholm," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 99-109, February.
    5. de Grange, Louis & Troncoso, Rodrigo, 2011. "Impacts of vehicle restrictions on urban transport flows: The case of Santiago, Chile," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 862-869, November.
    6. Lin, C.-Y. Cynthia & Zhang, Wei & Umanskaya, Victoria I., 2011. "The Effects of Driving Restrictions on Air Quality: São Paulo, Bogotá, Beijing, and Tianjin," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103381, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Rouwendal, Jan & Verhoef, Erik T., 2006. "Basic economic principles of road pricing: From theory to applications," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 106-114, March.
    8. Small, Kenneth A. & Gomez-Ilbanez, Jose A., 1998. "Road Pricing for Congestion Management: The Transition from Theory to Policy," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt8kk909p1, University of California Transportation Center.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Anderson, Michael L. & Lu, Fangwen & Zhang, Yiran & Yang, Jun & Qin, Ping, 2016. "Superstitions, street traffic, and subjective well-being," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 1-10.
    2. repec:eee:enepol:v:115:y:2018:i:c:p:486-493 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Liu, Yunxia & Hong, Zaisheng & Liu, Yong, 2016. "Do driving restriction policies effectively motivate commuters to use public transportation?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 253-261.
    4. Gibson, Matthew & Carnovale, Maria, 2015. "The effects of road pricing on driver behavior and air pollution," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 62-73.
    5. repec:eee:transa:v:111:y:2018:i:c:p:108-118 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:trapol:v:66:y:2018:i:c:p:96-106 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:eee:chieco:v:49:y:2018:i:c:p:114-140 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:eee:enepol:v:113:y:2018:i:c:p:20-27 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Diao, Qinghua & Sun, Wei & Yuan, Xinmei & Li, Lili & Zheng, Zhi, 2016. "Life-cycle private-cost-based competitiveness analysis of electric vehicles in China considering the intangible cost of traffic policies," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 567-578.
    10. Linn, Joshua & Wang, Zhongmin & Xie, Lunyu, 2016. "Who will be affected by a congestion pricing scheme in Beijing?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 34-40.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:67:y:2014:i:c:p:279-290. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.