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July 1, 2022

Travel Mode Choices in Small Cities of China: A Case Study of Changting

Hu, Hong; Xu, Jiangang; Shen, Qing; Shi, Fei; Chen, Yangjin. (2018). Travel Mode Choices in Small Cities of China: A Case Study of Changting. Transportation Research: Part D, 59, 361 – 374.

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The existing literature on urban transportation planning in China focuses primarily on large cities and neglects small cities. This paper aims to fill part of the knowledge gap by examining travel mode choice in Changting, a small city that has been experiencing fast spatial expansion and growing transportation problems. Using survey data collected from 1470 respondents on weekdays and weekends, the study investigates the relationship between mode choice and individuals' socio-economic characteristics, trip characteristics, attitudes, and home and workplace built environments. While more than 35 percent of survey respondents are car owners, walk, bicycle, e-bike, and motorcycle still account for over 85 percent of trips made during peak hours. E-bike and motorcycle are the dominant means of travel on weekdays, but many people shift to walking and cycling on weekends, making non-motorized and semi-motorized travel especially important for non-commuting trips. Results of multinomial logistic regression show that: (1) job-housing balance might exert different effects on mode choice in different types of urban areas; (2) negative attitude towards e-bike and motorcycle is associated with more walking and cycling; and (3) land use diversity of workplace is related to commuting mode choice on weekdays, while land use diversities of both residential and activity places do not significantly affect mode choice on weekends. Our findings imply that planning and design for small cities needs to differentiate land use and transportation strategies in various types of areas, and to launch outreach programs to shift people's mode choice from motorized travel to walking and cycling.


Urban Transportation; Transportation Planning; Outreach Programs; Choice Of Transportation; Commuting; China; Attitude; Built Environment; Mode Choice; Small Cities; Neighborhood Type; Self-selection; Urban Form; Land-use; Behavior; Impact; Attitudes; Ownership; Workers