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Shaping carpool policies under rapid motorization: the case of Chinese cities


  • Wang, Rui


Rapid motorization and fuel cost hike over the past few years have made carpool a new mode of travel in Chinese cities. But transportation policy makers have been rather ambivalent, if not indifferent, about carpool. Unlike cities in highly motorized societies, little is known about carpooling behavior in emerging economies such as China. This paper provides an initial discussion of carpooling in China by exploring a series of questions. What are the current practice and issues of carpool in Chinese cities? How do carpools in China compare with those in the motorized Western cities? Can carpools help Chinese cities mitigate the negative impacts of rapid motorization? Are foreign policies such as High-Occupancy-Vehicle (HOV) lanes transferable to China? Acknowledging the social benefits of voluntary carpooling, this paper argues: (1) bus lanes may be a better choice than HOV lanes when converting general motor vehicle lanes; (2) policies subsidizing carpoolers cannot be justified on either efficiency or equity grounds because a marginal carpooler is more likely transitioning from a transit user or non-motorized traveler than from a driver. Policy suggestions are proposed to Chinese decision makers.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Rui, 2011. "Shaping carpool policies under rapid motorization: the case of Chinese cities," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 631-635, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:18:y:2011:i:4:p:631-635

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Catherine Morency, 2007. "The ambivalence of ridesharing," Transportation, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 239-253, March.
    2. Prud'homme, Rémy & Bocarejo, Juan Pablo, 2005. "The London congestion charge: a tentative economic appraisal," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 279-287, May.
    3. Hai-Jun Huang & Hai Yang & Michael G.H. Bell, 2000. "The models and economics of carpools," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 34(1), pages 55-68.
    4. Tsao, H.-S. Jacob & Lin, Da-Jie, 1999. "Spatial and Temporal Factors in Estimating the Potential of Ride-sharing for Demand Reduction," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt2p57q0c9, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    5. Joyce Dargay & Dermot Gately & Martin Sommer, 2007. "Vehicle Ownership and Income Growth, Worldwide: 1960-2030," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 143-170.
    6. Wang, Rui, 2011. "Autos, transit and bicycles: Comparing the costs in large Chinese cities," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 139-146, January.
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