Vehicle kilometers traveled reduction impacts of Transit-Oriented Development: Evidence from Shanghai City

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - impacts, land use - planning, land use - transit oriented development, place - asia, place - urban, ridership - behaviour


Residential self-selection, Built environment, Travel behavior, Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), Vehicle Kilometers Traveled (VKT)


The role of residential self-selection has become a major subject in the debate over the relationships between the built environment and travel behavior. Numerous previous empirical studies on this subject have provided valuable insights into the associations between the built environment and travel behavior. However, the vast majority of the studies were conducted in North American and European cities; yet this research is still in its infancy in most developing countries, including China, where residential and transport choices are likely to be more constrained and travel-related attitudes quite different from those in the developed world. Using the data collected from 2038 residents currently living in TOD neighborhoods and non-TOD neighborhoods in Shanghai City, this paper aims to partly fill the gaps by investigating the causal relationship between the built environment and travel behavior in the Chinese context. More specifically, this paper employs Heckman’s sample selection model to examine the reduction impacts of TOD on personal vehicle kilometers traveled (VKT), controlling for self-selection. The results show that whilst the effects of residential self-selection are apparent; the built environment exhibits the most significant impacts on travel behavior, playing the dominant role. These findings produce a sound basis for local policymakers to better understand the nature and magnitude toward the impacts of the built environment on travel behavior. Providing the government department with reassurance that effective interventions and policies on land use aimed toward altering the built environment would actually lead to meaningful changes in travel behavior.


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


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