How do metro stations integrate with walking environments? Results from walking access within three types of built environment in Beijing

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - subway/metro, place - asia, land use - transit oriented development, land use - planning, land use - impacts, ridership - behaviour, ridership - perceptions, ridership - commuting, technology - geographic information systems, planning - integration, planning - surveys


Walking environment, Transit-oriented development, Tracking method, Geographic information system, Beijing


China is in a period of rapid metro system development. However, there are few empirical evaluations of the complex interactions between the local built environment and metro ridership in the Chinese context. In this study, we collected empirical data on the influence of local environmental characteristics on walking access in Beijing. Walking behaviors and built environment perceptions among commuters (N = 495) were collected at six metro stations in three distinctly different physical settings in Beijing—two inhutong, two in danwei, and two in xiaoqu. Participants recorded walking routes from the metro stations until they arrived at their destinations. Evaluations of the built environment were collected using a questionnaire after the participants arrived. Geographic information system was used to map walking routes and code built environment variables. Walking behavior outcomes were measured as walked time from metro exit to participant's destination. ANOVA compared differences between perceived and measured built environment characteristics and walking behaviors among selected neighborhoods. Multiple regression was used to test for associations between the built environment and metro station routes. We found that mean walking time from the metro station to a destination was 8 min. Recreational and office destinations had similar walking times to the metro station as residential destinations. Metro riders in xiaoqu anddanwei walked longer distances to their destinations compared to metro riders in hutong. Physical obstacles to crossing streets made walking times longer. Greater connectivity, both perceived and measured, predicted shorter walking times. Local land use is not well integrated into metro station placement in Beijing. Better connectivity, pedestrian-friendly designs and higher building coverage ratio around the metro station might promote easier walking access and have the potential to capture more metro riders.


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