International Development Planning Review

Estimating the shift from bicycle to metro in Tianjin

International Development Planning Review (2008), 30, (1), 93–111.

Abstract

Seven cities in China, including Tianjin, are building metro systems. The cities vary in structure and transport characteristics, with Tianjin hosting the highest levels of non-motorised transport, in particular bicycles. It is widely expected that some proportion of present journeys involving the bicycle in these cities will be converted to trips including a metro component. This study tested that proposition by surveying over 700 individuals in Tianjin about their most recent trip from home and other daily trips, before the first metro line opened. The study focused on travel time economies by alternative itineraries for their reported trip involving foot and metro, metro and bus, and metro and bicycle combinations. Travel times were obtained from respondents and validated with an electronic trip planner. Time savings of over 15 minutes using the metro for at least part of the journey were possible for 15 per cent of the reported trips. Regression analysis revealed household size, available bicycles and trip distance as significant variables in the choice of the bicycle mode. Modal shift was estimated to be low at this early stage of the metro development, confirmed in metro patronage following the inauguration of metro service. These results prompt questions concerning the future role of the metro in Tianjin. In general, over all the metro cities, the implementation of the metro system could benefit from more customised adaptations of a single metro model to the particularities of the local transport system.

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Author details

Zacharias, John

Zhang, Jian Ming