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

Listed author(s):
  • Wang, Lanlan
  • Xu, Jintao
  • Qin, Ping
Registered author(s):

    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.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0965856414001797
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

    Volume (Year): 67 (2014)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 279-290

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:67:y:2014:i:c:p:279-290
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2014.07.014
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    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. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    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.
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