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Factors affecting car ownership and mode choice in rail transit-supported suburbs of a large Chinese city


  • Shen, Qing
  • Chen, Peng
  • Pan, Haixiao


As Chinese cities continue to grow rapidly and their newly developed suburbs continue to accommodate most of the enormous population increase, rail transit is seen as the key to counter automobile dependence. This paper examines the effects of rail transit-supported urban expansion using travel survey data collected from residents in four Shanghai suburban neighborhoods, including three located near metro stations. Estimated binary logit model of car ownership and nested logit model of commuting mode choice reveal that: (1) proximity to metro stations has a significant positive association with the choice of rail transit as primary commuting mode, but its association with car ownership is insignificant; (2) income, job status, and transportation subsidy are all positively associated with the probabilities of owning car and driving it to work; (3) higher population density in work location relates positively to the likelihood of commuting by the metro, but does not show a significant relationship with car ownership; (4) longer commuting distance is strongly associated with higher probabilities of riding the metro, rather than driving, to work; (5) considerations of money, time, comfort, and safety appear to exert measurable influences on car ownership and mode choice in the expected directions, and the intention to ride the metro for commuting is reflected in its actual use as primary mode for journey to work. These results strongly suggest that rail transit-supported urban expansion can produce important positive outcomes, and that this strategic approach can be effectively facilitated by transportation policies and land use plans, as well as complemented by timely provision of high quality rail transit service to suburban residents.

Suggested Citation

  • Shen, Qing & Chen, Peng & Pan, Haixiao, 2016. "Factors affecting car ownership and mode choice in rail transit-supported suburbs of a large Chinese city," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 31-44.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:94:y:2016:i:c:p:31-44
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2016.08.027

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhao, Pengjun & Zhang, Yixue, 2018. "Travel behaviour and life course: Examining changes in car use after residential relocation in Beijing," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 41-53.
    2. Cao, Xinyu Jason, 2019. "Examining the effect of the Hiawatha LRT on auto use in the Twin Cities," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 284-292.
    3. Ha, Tran Vinh & Asada, Takumi & Arimura, Mikiharu, 2019. "Determination of the influence factors on household vehicle ownership patterns in Phnom Penh using statistical and machine learning methods," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 70-86.
    4. Wenyue Yang & Shaojian Wang & Xiaoming Zhao, 2018. "Measuring the Direct and Indirect Effects of Neighborhood-Built Environments on Travel-related CO 2 Emissions: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(5), pages 1-14, April.
    5. Ding, Chuan & Cao, Xinyu & Wang, Yunpeng, 2018. "Synergistic effects of the built environment and commuting programs on commute mode choice," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 104-118.
    6. Ding, Chuan & Cao, Xinyu, 2019. "How does the built environment at residential and work locations affect car ownership? An application of cross-classified multilevel model," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 37-45.
    7. Yongqiang Lv & Xinqi Zheng & Lin Zhou & Lulu Zhang, 2017. "Decentralization and Polycentricity: Spatial Changes of Employment in Beijing Metropolitan Area, China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(10), pages 1-17, October.
    8. Yoon-Young Chun & Mitsutaka Matsumoto & Kiyotaka Tahara & Kenichiro Chinen & Hideki Endo, 2019. "Exploring Factors Affecting Car Sharing Use Intention in the Southeast-Asia Region: A Case Study in Java, Indonesia," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(18), pages 1-26, September.
    9. Soltani, Ali, 2017. "Social and urban form determinants of vehicle ownership; evidence from a developing country," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 90-100.
    10. Yang, Mian & Ma, Tiemeng & Sun, Chuanwang, 2018. "Evaluating the impact of urban traffic investment on SO2 emissions in China cities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 20-27.
    11. Arefeh Nasri & Lei Zhang, 2019. "How Urban Form Characteristics at Both Trip Ends Influence Mode Choice: Evidence from TOD vs. Non-TOD Zones of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(12), pages 1-16, June.
    12. Nan Ye & Linjie Gao & Zhicai Juan & Anning Ni, 2018. "Are People from Households with Children More Likely to Travel by Car? An Empirical Investigation of Individual Travel Mode Choices in Shanghai, China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(12), pages 1-14, December.


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