Study of Modal Shifts to Bus Rapid Transit in Chinese Cities

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, mode - bus rapid transit, place - asia, ridership - mode choice, ridership - modelling


bus rapid transit, modal shift, bus, China


This paper applies a binary logistic analysis method for assessing impacts of modal shifts from automobiles, normal buses, and nonmotorized vehicles caused by bus rapid transit (BRT) deployments using survey data collected on six representative BRT corridors in China. The traveler’s demographic and socioeconomic attributes (gender, age) and trip-related attributes (trip purpose, travel time savings, trip costs, trip distances, and weekly travel frequencies) are found to be statistically significant in influencing modal shifts to BRT. Ridership characteristics and preferences are found to vary significantly by BRT corridor based on travel mode, demographics, socioeconomic status, and the perceived benefits in travel time and trip costs, suggesting that BRT deployment strategies must recognize the heterogeneous nature of ridership and travel preferences. The probability of modal shifts to BRT could reach up to 15% for travel time savings of 10 min and then increase steadily for a greater extent of travel time savings. For relatively long trip distances greater than 5 km and high weekly trip frequencies greater than 10 trips, all other things being equal, the probability of modal shifts to BRT could reach 13–57% and 9–55%, respectively. The findings are consistent with some notable studies conducted in other countries.