Does public transit improvement affect commuting behavior in Beijing, China? : A spatial multilevel approach


Developing countries like China have experienced substantial city transformations over the past decade. City transformations are characterized by transportation innovations that allow individuals to access to speedy commuting modes for work activities and offer potential influences on commuting behavior. This paper examines the potential effects of subway system expansion in Beijing on commuting behavior. Our methodological design controls for spatial effects by employing Bayesian multilevel binary logistic models with spatial random effects. Using cross-sectional individual surveys in Beijing, the results suggest that there is a significant rise in subway commuting trips while non-motorized and bus commuting trips are reduced with the new subway expansion. Model comparison results show evidence about the presence of spatial effects in influencing the role of built environment characteristics to play in the commuting behavior analysis

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