Access to City Center: Automobile vs. Public Transit

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 May 5;19(9):5622. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19095622.


For current territory development planning in China, city center accessibility (CCA) has gained increasing attention for evaluating the expansion of urban areas. How should CCA and its differences between the automobile and public transit (PT) modes be measured? We analyzed CCA from travel time and travel cost perspectives using the travel data obtained from the Baidu Map at a 100 m × 100 m resolution. The GWR was then examined to explore the correlation between the explanatory variables and the CCA differences. Automobile-based CCA shows a concentric structure and varies with time, while PT-based CCA has an apparent linear expansion along the metro lines and fluctuates less. When measuring by travel cost instead of travel time, CCA gaps between the two modes are lessened, and the automobile's advantage is no longer evident. The distance from the metro stations has a significant positive effect on CCA differences, and the positive effect concentrates in the 3.6 km range (measured by travel time) and 2.8 km range (measured by travel cost) around the metro stations. Our study highlights the importance of multiple perspectives when comparing the accessibility of different transport modes, and the results also provide implications for policy-makers.

Keywords: GWR; city center accessibility; cumulative opportunities; isochrone maps; online map.