Built environment, commuting behaviour and job accessibility in a rail-based dense urban context

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, mode - rail, mode - bus, ridership - commuting, ridership - behaviour, land use - urban density


Commuting behaviour, Job accessibility, Built environment, Public transit, Neighborhood


This study examines how job accessibility, as measured in commute distance and commute duration, is associated with different built environment features in a rail-based high-density urban context--Hong Kong. As a major contribution of this research, our analyses demonstrate that the average effects of built environment features on people’s commuting patterns and job accessibility mask considerable heterogeneity across different commute modes and neighborhood types. Using multiple regression models, we found that public transit commuters are more responsive to changes in built environments than private vehicle commuters. Subdivided samples also show that several built environment features affect job accessibility in job-dense downtown neighborhoods differently than in other types of neighborhoods (i.e. non-downtown urban neighborhoods, new town neighborhoods, rural neighborhoods), suggesting the nonlinearity in these relationships. This research has important implications to urban policymaking, especially in addressing the needs of different transit users (rail, bus, mixed) versus automobile users, as well as the needs of different types of neighborhoods. The findings and policy recommendations can reasonably be generalized to other major cities with similarly dense settings.


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


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