Revisiting the interactions between bus service quality, car ownership and mode use: A case study in Changzhou, China

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - car, mode - bus, place - asia, place - urban, ridership - behaviour, ridership - mode choice, policy - congestion, planning - service quality, planning - service improvement


Bus service quality, Car ownership, Bus use, Car use, Structural equation model


The State Council of China hopes to alleviate traffic congestion by implementing the bus priority policy. However, the policy consequences have not been satisfactory. Whether a good bus service can significantly reduce car use while increasing bus use is a confusing issue, hereto this study re-examines the interactions among bus service quality, car ownership, car use and bus use by constructing a SEM model. A sample of 334 individuals in Changzhou is used in the study. Results show that although high-quality bus service can cause a decrease in car use, the total negative effect of bus service quality on car use is far less than the positive effect of car ownership. Thus, when car ownership is growing rapidly, only a comprehensive and substantial improvement in bus service can alleviate and ultimately eliminate the enormous pressure on urban traffic resulted from the increasing car ownership. This study provides empirical evidence to explain why traffic congestion is still serious with the strong support in public transport from governments and gives policy implications on how to control urban traffic.


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


Transportation Research Part A Home Page: