Does technical efficiency play a mediating role between bus facility scale and ridership attraction? Evidence from bus practices in China

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, mode - bus, ridership - behaviour


Bus ridership attraction, Technical efficiency, Bus facility scale, Mediation effect, Path analysis, Multigroup analysis


Bus ridership in many cities has not increased but, ultimately, decreased with the continuous growth of the bus facility scale in recent years in China. This study aims to explore the relationship between bus facility scale and ridership attraction by introducing technical efficiency as a mediator variable, and data collected from 152 Chinese cities in 2015 is used in the study. Technical efficiency in this paper refers to the degree to which a bus system attains its minimum inputs (labor, bus facility) with a given level of output (vehicle-km). Results show that the technical efficiency has a mediation effect. When bus facilities are few and insufficient, an increase in facilities can considerably enhance ridership attraction through higher technical efficiency, but when the scale of bus facilities increases to an excess, ridership attraction suffers from the negative impact of a lower technical efficiency. This study offers a theoretical explanation and provides decision support for policy-makers who would like to strengthen bus ridership attraction.


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


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