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Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 7751-7767; doi:10.3390/su6117751

The Diversity and Evolution Process of Bus System Performance in Chinese Cities: An Empirical Study

1
The Key Laboratory of Road and Traffic Engineering, Ministry of Education, Tongji University, 4800 Cao'an Road, Shanghai 201804, China
2
The Key Laboratory of Road and Traffic Engineering of, Ministry of Education, Tongji University, RM 403 Building 3, Lane 46, Guokang Road, Shanghai 200092, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 June 2014 / Revised: 15 October 2014 / Accepted: 28 October 2014 / Published: 5 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Abstract

Bus system performance varies from city to city, and experience clearly indicates that simply increasing the size of bus fleet cannot always improve bus system performance. It is therefore necessary to identify the major variables of bus system performance in different cities and implement a diversity improvement strategy based on actual problems that cities are facing. Two new indicators, annual average bus trips per capita and average daily ridership per bus, are proposed to respectively describe two aspects of bus system performance: willingness to travel and operational efficiency. According to these two indicators, 645 cities in China are classified into four types: cities with good performance in both aspects; in only one aspect; and in neither aspect. Then, based on panel data attained during 2002–2008, the impacts of the variables on willingness to travel and operational efficiency in different city types are analyzed by the variable coefficient model. The results show that the impacts of urban geography, economic conditions, and bus system facility vary among the four city types. Bus ownership ratio has a significant positive impact on improving willingness to travel for the cities with insufficient bus system facility. However, the impact decreases in the cities with well-developed facilities, whereas the operational efficiency suffers from negative impact due to the excess in bus system facility. In addition, the development characteristics of the cities that are improved both in willingness to travel and operational efficiency in each city type during 2002–2008 are discussed. The findings can help local governments make more specific, reasonable and efficient strategies to promote bus system performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: bus system performance; diversity development strategy; bus service attraction; operation efficiency; pooled regression model bus system performance; diversity development strategy; bus service attraction; operation efficiency; pooled regression model
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, X.; Wang, X.; Zhang, H.; Li, J. The Diversity and Evolution Process of Bus System Performance in Chinese Cities: An Empirical Study. Sustainability 2014, 6, 7751-7767.

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