Cycling Trends and Fate in the Face of Bus Rapid Transit Case Study of Jinan, Shandong Province, China

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, mode - bus rapid transit, mode - bike, ridership - behaviour, ridership - mode choice


Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), cycling, China, travel behaviour


In many Chinese cities, bus rapid transit (BRT) has been promoted as the answer to urban transport needs and, as such, would supplant cycling as a significant mode of transportation. Expectations of the effects of new BRT systems indicate that cycling trips will be absorbed into these new public transit systems. These assumptions about future travel behavior are investigated in the context of Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province, China. A large sample origin-destination survey of traditional and electric bicycles was completed to serve as the basis for comparison with current bus trips and projected travel by BRT. Quantitative methods were used to analyze trip characteristics across modes and the potential travel benefits of BRT. Results from an extensive, qualitative survey of cyclists complement these data, and the survey considered the perceptions of cycling and key reasons for mode choice. Evidence from a comparison of the modal characteristics of traditional cycles, electric bicycles, bus services, and BRT indicates that cycling provides a highly attractive, already existing alternative to public transport. This challenges the assumptions of a substantial modal shift after the implementation of BRT systems and begs for an alternative approach to urban transport system design—one that integrates China's cycling culture. Recommendations on the basis of these findings explore the possibilities for the systematic integration of cycling and BRT.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Record, copyright remains with them.