The increased private car ownership in China especially large cities has facilitated trip making and activity engagement behavior of citizens, but also led to many urban problems including traffic congestion and air pollution. While car ownership control has received much attention from academics and policy makers, not much research on private car usage in Chinese cities has been conducted. To fill in this gap, this paper examines the patterns and determinants of private car use in Beijing. Data are derived from an activitytravel behavior survey conducted in Beijing from November 2011 to July 2012. We develop econometric models from the data and find that the intensity of car usage in Beijing is significantly influenced by the purpose of car use, built environment variables and personal and household socioeconomic characteristics. Specifically, commuting is the most important purpose for car use in Beijing and the share of car use for this purpose is much higher than for other purposes; poor public transportation service and convenient parking facilities are two major driving forces of car use in Beijing; individual and household socioeconomic characteristics, such as marriage status, employment, household size and age, also play an important role. There is not much difference in frequency and duration of car usage between weekdays and weekends. These findings have important implications for transportation policymaking. Policies aiming at controlling car use may need to act on the factors that are found here as significant determinants of car use (e.g., built environment variables). It is argued that more studies on car use are required to better understand patterns and determinants of car use in Chinese cities and inform policies that can effectively reduce car use and alleviate car dependency.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
- Built environment
- Car dependency
- Intensity of car use
- Vehicle miles traveled