Where are equity and service effectiveness? A tale from public transport in Shanghai

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, policy - equity, planning - methods, planning - service improvement


Supply-demand gaps, Public transport equity, Service effectiveness, DEA


With the rapid urban development, efficiency and social equity in traffic planning have raised increasing attention among scholars in different fields. Existing research have been conducted from a single perspective, while the integrated theoretical framework for quantifying the relationship between equity and service effectiveness (SEV) of public transport has rarely been established. In this study, the Chinese metropolis-Shanghai, was used as an example to explore the relationship between the equity and SEV of public transport from the supply and demand perspective. The research methodology incorporated the use of the Lorenz curve, Gini coefficient, Gap analysis, Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) model, and spatial overlay analysis. The discovery is that most of the undersupply, supply-demand matching, and ineffectiveness areas were found in Shanghai's inner and outer suburbs. Public transport in the inner core and border areas was generally characterized by oversupply and a mixture of high and ineffectiveness. Overall, it is challenging to balance equity and SEV. This study can aid policy makers in achieving a balance between SEV and equity in transit planning, to improve transport SEV, and to promote a greater equity of transport opportunities among disadvantaged groups.


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


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