The association between transit access and auto ownership: evidence from Guangzhou, China

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - planning, mode - car, mode - rail, place - asia, planning - travel demand management, ridership - behaviour, ridership - mode choice


Developing countries, transit infrastructure, rail transit, auto ownership, accessibility, travel behavior, land use


In many developing countries, massive investment in transit infrastructure is concurrent with the proliferation of automobiles. Planners expect that investment can slow the growth of auto ownership. However, few studies have examined the relationships between transit access and auto ownership in developing countries, whereas research in developed countries offers mixed findings and the outcomes may not be applicable to developing countries. This study employs a random effect ordered probit model on data collected from Guangzhou residents in 2011–2012. We find that transit access is negatively associated with auto ownership, after controlling for demographics and other built environment variables. This result suggests that, although income is the dominant driver for auto ownership in growing developing countries, transit investment is a promising strategy to slow the growth of auto ownership. This study also highlights the importance of addressing spatial dependency in clustered data.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.