The association between transit access and auto ownership: evidence from Guangzhou, China

Xiaoyan Huang, Xiaoshu Cao, Jason Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT: In many developing countries, massive investment in transit infrastructure is concurrent with the proliferation of automobiles. Planners expect that investment can slow the growth of auto ownership. However, few studies have examined the relationships between transit access and auto ownership in developing countries, whereas research in developed countries offers mixed findings and the outcomes may not be applicable to developing countries. This study employs a random effect ordered probit model on data collected from Guangzhou residents in 2011–2012. We find that transit access is negatively associated with auto ownership, after controlling for demographics and other built environment variables. This result suggests that, although income is the dominant driver for auto ownership in growing developing countries, transit investment is a promising strategy to slow the growth of auto ownership. This study also highlights the importance of addressing spatial dependency in clustered data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-283
Number of pages15
JournalTransportation Planning and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The paper was developed from a project sponsored by the Natural Science Foundation of China [#41401127] and [#41401180], and jointly supported by the US National Science Foundation [#1243535].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis.


  • Developing countries
  • accessibility
  • auto ownership
  • land use
  • rail transit
  • transit infrastructure
  • travel behavior


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