Toward Transit Metropolis: Status Quo Analysis for Chinese Major Cities

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

policy - sustainable, place - asia, infrastructure - interchange/transfer, ridership - mode choice


Public transit, Mode share, Transit net length, Transit development


In order to promote low-carbon transport, “The 12th five-year Transport Development Planning” released by the Ministry of Transport (MoT) of P. R. China in 2011, indicates that MoT will provide significant funds to support 30 cities to build “The Transit Metropolis” before 2015. In order to support the “Transit Metropolis” project, the authors led great efforts on collecting statistic and economy data, geography and population data, transportation infrastructure and operation data, transit passenger degree of satisfaction data, etc. Based on all the ground information, this paper assessed the status of urban public transit in China, and analyzed the factors that affect the public transit development. It is found that the relationship between the transit mode share and the GDP per capita follows a “flash” shape and can be divided into three phases. With the growth of GDP, the trend of the transit mode share typically goes “up-down-up” due to the different stages of economy level, car ownership and investment on transit system. Based on the analysis and discussion, some suggestions are provided to develop a hierarchical multi-modal transit system with smooth transfers and good coverage to mitigate traffic congestion and improve the sustainability of urban transportation system in China.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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