Exploring the impact of built environment on car use: does living near urban rail transit matter?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, mode - rail, land use - impacts, land use - transit oriented development


Built environment, household VKT, urban rail transit, multiple-group SEM model, mediating effects


Urban rail transit (URT) is often implemented in order to reduce car ownership and use. However, it is still unclear how the impacts of the built environment on car dependence differ in transit-oriented development (TOD) areas and non-TOD areas. Based on 2012 Changchun household travel survey data, this study aims to explore whether the relationships between the built environment and household vehicle kilometers traveled (VKT) vary between station and non-station areas by employing a multi-group structural equation model (SEM). The results suggest that the effects of the built environment on household VKT vary between station and non-station areas. Additionally, the results confirm the remarkable role that the built environment plays in influencing car ownership and use by revealing the direct, indiract and total effects. These findings provide a better understanding of the inherent mechanism by which URT moderates the impacts of the built environment on car ownership and use. It suggests that, for urban planners and policy makers, promoting compact land use strategies can have a positive effect on reducing car use, and URT implementation can effectively strengthen the effects.


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