Cost of an urban rail ride: A nation-level analysis of ridership, capital costs and cost-effectiveness performance of urban rail transit projects in China

Jinbao Zhao, Chaosu Li, Ruhua Zhang, Mathew Palmer

Abstract


Although urban rain transit (URT) is an attractive alternative mode of daily travel, barriers exist in URT development across the world, in particular, the high cost of construction and operation and relative low rates of URT ridership. Despite these barriers, URT has gained considerable popularity worldwide in recent years; much of this trend is driven by projects in China. Despite this public support and implementation of URT projects, the ridership, capital costs and cost-effectiveness of URT projects remain largely unstudied. This paper addresses this planning and policy issue by examining line-level ridership and investment data for 97 heavy rail transit (HRT) lines and 12 light rail transit (LRT) lines in 28 Chinese cities. Comparative analysis is conducted so as to evaluate the performance and cost-effectiveness of HRT and LRT. Multiple linear regression analysis is used to explain the variability of URT cost-effectiveness and how it varies depending on land use density, project design, system service, and multimodal transit integration. Findings indicate that land-use density, line length, number of transfer stations, operation time, and bus ridership significantly contribute to higher levels of URT ridership, while URT ridership decreases significantly with train headway and the station’s distance from the city center. It is cost-effective to develop URT in high-density cities in spite of high costs, and some, if not all, LRT lines are more cost-effective than HRT lines. As of this analysis, the overdevelopment of HRT in China has failed to plan for multimodal transport integration and operational optimization. However, these shortcomings are also opportunities for Chinese transportation and land-use planners to develop more cost-effective URT projects that also improve the level of service available to the public.

Keywords


Urban rail; Cost-effectiveness; Land-use density; Multimodal transit connection.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Arrington, G. B., & Cervero, R. (2008). TCRP Report 128: Effects of TOD on housing, parking, and travel. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board of the National Academies.

Beijing Subway. (2017). Beijing subway. Retrieved from https://www.bjsubway.com

Ben-Akiva, M. E., & Lerman, S. R. (1985). Discrete choice analysis: Theory and application to travel demand. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Bowman, J. L., & Ben-Akiva, M. E. (2001). Activity-based disaggregate travel demand model system with activity schedules. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 35(1), 1–28.

Calimente, J. (2012). Rail integrated communities in Tokyo. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 5(1), 19–32.

Cao, J., & Ettema, D. (2014). Satisfaction with travel and residential self-selection: How do preferences moderate the impact of the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit line? Journal of Transport and Land Use, 7(3), 93–108.

Cervero, R. (2007). Transit-oriented development's ridership bonus: A product of self-selection and public policies. Environment and Planning A, 39(9), 2068–2085.

Cervero, R., & Day. J. (2008). Suburbanization and transit-oriented development in China. Transportation Policy, 15(5), 315–323.

Cervero, R., & Kockelman, K. (1997). Travel demand and the 3Ds: Density, diversity, and design. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 2(3), 199–219.

Chatman, D. G. (2008). Deconstructing development density: Quality, quantity and price effects on household non-work travel. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 42(7), 1008–1030.

Creemers, L., Cools, M., Tormans, H., Lateur, P. J., Janssens, D., & Wets, G. (2012). Identifying the determinants of light rail mode choice for medium- and long-distance trips: Results from a stated preference study. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2275, 30–38.

Cervero, R., Sarmiento, O. L., Jacoby, E., Gomez, L. F., & Neiman, A. (2009). Influences of built environments on walking and cycling: Lessons from Bogotá. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 3(4), 203–226.

Demographia. (2016). Word urban areas. Retrieved from http://www.demographia.com/db-worldua.pdf (Accessed 22/8/2017)

Eastday. (2011). The fourth comprehensive traffic survey report of Shanghai. Retrieved from http://sh.eastday.com/eastday/shnews/qtmt/20110308/u1a862742.html

Ewing, R., & Cervero, R. (2010). Travel and the built environment: A meta-analysis. Journal of the American Planning Association, 76(3), 1–30.

Flyvbjerg, B., Holm, M. K. S., & Buhl., S. L. (2005). How (in)accurate are demand forecasts in public works projects? The case of transportation. Journal of the American Planning Association, 71(2), 131.

Guangzhou Metro. (2017). Guangzhou metro. Retrieved from http://www.gzmtr.com

Guerra, E., & Cervero, R. (2011). Cost of a ride. Journal of the American Planning Association, 77(3), 267–290.

Hess, D. B., & Ong, P. M. (2002). Traditional neighborhoods and automobile ownership. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 1805(1), 35–44.

Ji, Y., Fan, Y., Ermagun, A., Cao, X., Wang, W., & Das, K. (2017). Public bicycle as a feeder mode to rail transit in China: The role of gender, age, income, trip purpose, and bicycle theft experience. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 11(4), 308–317.

Kain, J. (1999). The urban transportation problem: A reexamination and update. In J. Gomez-Ibanez, W. B. Tye, & C. Winston (Eds.), Essays in transportation economics and policy: A handbook in honor of John R. Meyer (pp. 359–401). Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.

Kelly, F. J., & Zhu., T., (2016). Transport solutions for cleaner air. Science, 352, 934–936.

Kuby, M., Barranda, A., & Upchurch, C. (2004). Factors influencing light-rail station boardings in the United States. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 38(3), 223–247.

Lee, R. J., & Sener, I. N. (2017). The effect of light rail transit on land use in a city without zoning. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 10(1), 541–556.

Li, C., & Song, Y. (2016). Government response to climate change in China: A study of provincial and municipal plans. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 59(9), 1679–1710.

Li, C., Song, Y., & Chen, Y. (2017). Infrastructure development and urbanization in China. In China’s urbanization and socioeconomic impact (pp. 91–107). Singapore: Springer.

McCollum, B. E., & Pratt, R. H. (2004). Chapter 12: Transit pricing and fares. In TCRP report 95: Traveler response to transportation system changes. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board of the National Academies.

Meyer, J., Kain, J., & Wohl, H. (1965). The urban transportation problem. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Mohring, H. (1972). Optimization and scale economies in urban bus transportation. The American Economic Review, 62(4), 591–604.

NBSC. (2017). National Bureau of Statistics of the People’s Republic of China. Retrieved from http://www.stats.gov.cn/tjsj/ndsj/

NDRCC. (2017). National Development and Reform Commission of China. Retrieved from http://www.ndrc.gov.cn

Nolan, A. (2010). A dynamic analysis of household car ownership. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 44(6), 446–455.

Noland, R. B., & DiPetrillo, S. (2015). Transit-oriented development and the frequency of modal use. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 8(2), 21–44.

Pacheco-Raguz, J. F. (2010). Assessing the impacts of light rail transit on urban land in Manila. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 3(1), 113–138.

Padeiro, M. (2014). The influence of transport infrastructures on land-use conversion decisions within municipal plans. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 5(1), 79–93.

Pickrell, D. (1990). Urban rail transit projects: Forecast versus actual ridership and costs. Washington, DC: Urban Mass Transportation Administration.

Prillwitz, J., Harms, S., & Lanzendorf, M. (2006). Impact of life-course events on car ownership. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 1985, 71–77.

Pushkarev, B., & Zupan, J. (1977). Public transportation and land use policy. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Ransom, M. R. (2018). The effect of light rail transit service on nearby property values: Quasi-experimental evidence from Seattle. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 11(1), 387–404.

Shanghai Metro. (2017). Shanghai metro. Retrieved from http://www.shmetro.com

Shen, Q., Chen, P., & Pan, H. X. (2016). Factors affecting car ownership and mode choice in rail transit-supported suburbs of a large Chinese city. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 94, 31–44.

Shoup, D. (2005). The high cost of free parking. American Planning Association, Chicago, Ill.

Siemiatycki, M. (2009). Academics and auditors: Comparing perspectives on transportation project cost overruns. Journal of Planning Education and Research 29(2), 142–156.

SIURCTD. (2015). Annual report of Shanghai transportation, 2015. Traffic & Transportation, 3(6), 7–11.

Sohn, K., & Shim, H. (2010). Factors generating boardings at metro stations in the Seoul metropolitan area. Cities, 27, 358–368.

Sohu. (2015). The project costs per km of heavy rail transit in Beijing are more than one billion CNY. Retrieved from http://news.sohu.com/20150630/n415908777.shtml

Sun, G. B., Webster, C., & Chiaradia. A. (2017). Objective assessment of station approach routes: Development and reliability of an audit for walking environments around metro stations in China. Journal of Transport and Health, 4, 191–207.

Taylor, B. D., Miller, D., Iseki, H., & Fink, C. (2009). Nature and/or nurture? Analyzing the determinants of transit ridership across US urbanized areas. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 43(1), 60–77.

The Central People's Government of China. (2018). Opinions of the State Council on strengthening the management of urban rail transit planning and construction. Retrieved from http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/content/2018-07/13/content_5306202.htm

Train, K. (1993). Qualitative choice analysis: Theory, economics, and an application to automobile demand, third ed. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Tsai, C., & Mulley, G. (2012). The spatial interactions between public transport demand and land-use characteristics in the Sydney greater metropolitan area. Perth, Australia: Australasian Transport Research Forum.

Urbanrail. (2017). Urban rail transit in Europe, Americas, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. Retrieved from http://urbanrail.net

US Inflation calculator. (2018). How the buying power of the US dollar has changed from 1913-present. Retrieved from

http://www.usinflationcalculator.com

Van Acker, V., & Witlox, F. (2010). Car ownership as a mediating variable in car travel behavior research using a structural equation modelling approach to identify its dual relationship. Journal of Transport Geography, 18(1), 65–74.

Webber, M. (1976). The BART experience: What have we learned? (Monograph No. 26). Berkeley, CA: University of California, Berkeley, Institute of Urban and Regional Development. Retrieved from http://www.uctc.net/mwebber/The%20BART%20Experience.pdf

Yan, S., Delmelle, E., & Duncan, M. (2012). The impact of a new light rail system on single-family property values in Charlotte, North Carolina. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 5(2), 60–67.

Zahabi, S. A. H., Miranda-Moreno, L. F., Patterson, Z., & Barla, P. (2012). Evaluating the effects of land use and strategies for parking and transit supply on mode choice of downtown commuters. Journal of Transport and Land Use 5(2), 103–119.

Zhao, J., Deng, W., Song, Y., & Zhu, Y. (2014). Analysis of metro ridership at station level and station-to-station level in Nanjing: An approach based on direct demand models. Transportation, 41, 133–155.

Zhao, J., Wang, J., & Deng, W. (2015). Exploring bike sharing travel time and trip chain by gender and day of the week. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, 58, 251–264.

Zhao, P., & Li, S. (2017). Bicycle-metro integration in a growing city: The determinants of cycling as a transfer mode in metro station areas in Beijing. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 99, 46–60.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5198/jtlu.2018.1292


Copyright (c) 2018 Jinbao Zhao, Ruhua Zhang, Chaosu Li, Mathew Palmer