Global Mobility Culture Comparison and China’s Mobility Management

Funding: MIT Energy Initiative, Mobility of the Future 2016-2019

Mobility is already changing in response to evolving demographics, consumer preferences, new business models, connectedness, technology, alternative fuels, and policy. Future changes are anticipated but there is great uncertainty about the pace of change and which mobility options will be adopted. This multi-PI, multi-year MIT study, Mobility of the Future, will explore these possibilities and examine how complex interactions between engine technology options, fuel options, refueling infrastructure, consumer choice, public transit options, new transportation modalities, and government policy might shape the future landscape for mobility. 

Prof. Jinhua Zhao leads two research components: (1) Global Comparison of Mobility Culture, and (2) Mobility Management Instruments in China: Scenario Setting 2050.

(1) The Global Comparison of Mobility Culture project seeks to measure car pride and car dependence in cities across different countries, explore the sociodemographic, policy, and other influences that contribute to the formation of car pride, and model how car pride and car dependence influence travel behavior (such as car usage and ownership). Implementing a pre-tested survey in select cities around the globe, we will collect primary data on respondent travel behavior and attitudes towards mobility using psychometric tools including the Implicit Association Test.

(2) The Mobility Management Instruments in China project surveys the landscape of municipal transportation policies and constructs future policy scenarios for China. We begin by characterizing current municipal transportation policies along four dimensions: policy instruments, policy objectives, stakeholders, and local contexts. We examine the variations in common patterns in the process of transportation policy-making across Chinese cities. We aim to identify trends in urban transportation systems, mobility patterns, and transportation policy-making over time and use this understanding of the dynamics of transportation policy to develop a set of scenarios. These scenarios will explore three key dimensions – (i) technology development, (ii) mobility policy assertiveness, (iii) and urban land-use regulations – to illustrate and benchmark a broad range of plausible mobility futures.

External link: http://energy.mit.edu/research/mobility-future-study/

Abstract
Divergent Trajectories of Urban Development in 287 Chinese Cities, Shenhao Wang, and Jinhua Zhao , Cities, (Submitted)

The urbanization and motorization of Chinese cities follow divergent trajectories. However, how the diversity occurred, particularly within the small and medium cities, is understudied. Using panel data from 287 cities from 2001 to 2014 and a time-series clustering method, this study identified representative trajectories along which Chinese cities were urbanized and motorized. Urbanization was measured by scale, wealth, urban form, and infrastructure; motorization by automobile, taxi, bus...

Measuring Car Pride and its Relations with Car Ownership in New York City and Houston, Joanna Moody, and Jinhua Zhao , Transportation Research Part A, (Submitted)

The car fulfills not only instrumental transportation functions, but also holds important symbolic and affective meaning for its owners and users. In particular, owning and using a car can be a symbol of an individual’s social status or personal image. This paper introduces a standard, latent measure of car pride estimated from 12 survey statements using a sample of N = 1,236 commuters in New York City and Houston metropolitan statistical areas. We demonstrate the convergent and...

Car Pride and its Behavioral Implications: An Exploration in Shanghai, Zhan Zhao, and Jinhua Zhao , Transportation, (2018)

Cars have symbolic significance beyond their functional purpose, and people often take pride in owning and using them. However, little is known about what this pride is and how it affects travel behavior. This paper constitutes the first attempt to provide a conceptual framework of car pride and test its behavioral implications. In this paper, car pride is defined as the self-conscious emotion derived from the appraisal of car ownership and use positively related to one’s identity goals. We...

Transportation Policymaking in Beijing and Shanghai: Contributors, Obstacles and Process, Chun, Jungwoo, Joanna Moody, and Jinhua Zhao , Working paper, (2018)

With continued motorization and urbanization in Chinese cities, there is a growing demand for innovative transportation policies at the city level to address the challenges of congestion, local air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Using Beijing and Shanghai as case studies, this paper draws on 32 in-depth semi-structured interviews with municipal government officials, academics, and transportation professionals to explore the city-level transportation policymaking process in China....

Gaining Acceptance by Informing the People? Public Knowledge, Attitudes, and Acceptance of Transportation Policies, Menghan Li, and Jinhua Zhao , Journal of Planning Education and Research, 09/2017, (2017)

We examine the connection between public knowledge and attitudes in the context of urban transportation policies. We categorize policy knowledge into received, subjective, and reasoned knowledge, and measure them empirically using a survey of Shanghai’s residents (n=1,000) on the vehicle license auction policy. We quantify the relationship between the three types of knowledge and public acceptance and its predecessors (perceived effectiveness, affordability, and equity). We find variegated...

Transportation Policy Making in Beijing and Shanghai: Contributors, Obstacles, and Process, Chun, Jungwoo, Joanna Moody, and Jinhua Zhao , Transportation Research Board 97th Annual Meeting, (2018)

With continued motorization and urbanization in Chinese cities, there is a growing demand for innovative transportation policies to address the challenges of congestion, local air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Using Beijing and Shanghai as case studies, this paper draws on in-depth interviews with municipal government officials and non-governmental experts to document the ways in which transportation policy is currently implemented at the city-level in China. Using recursive and...

Normative and Image Motivations for Compliance with Sustainable Transportation Policy, Jingkang Gao, and Jinhua Zhao , Urban Studies, (2016)

A high level of non-compliance with policies aimed to protect common pool resources necessitates investigation into motivations behind compliance so that policies could be tailored to raise compliance level. Compliance with such protection policies of common pool resources such as car control policies instituted in Chinese cities aimed to reduce congestion and pollution is critical to ensuring sustainable development. In 1994 Shanghai instituted a monthly license plate auction policy to...

Capturing Hidden Attitudes: Introducing the Implicit Association Test to Transportation Planning, Joanna Moody, jintai Li, and Jinhua Zhao , Working paper, (2017)

Transportation planners routinely rely on surveys or other self-report measures (revealed preference or stated preference) to understand people’s travel preference and attitudes. This understanding is fundamental in designing policy interventions toward more sustainable travel choice. However, respondents may hold implicit attitudes that differ from their expressed answers to surveys because of social desirability bias, self-enhancement, or self-ignorance. This mismatch between attitudes...

Implicit and Explicit Measures of Social Status Bias in Mode Choice, Joanna Moody , (2016)

Transportation planners routinely rely on surveys or other self-report measures to understand people’s mode choice attitudes. This understanding helps shape informational campaigns and other policy interventions to nudge travel behaviour toward more sustainable modes and away from single-occupancy, gasoline-powered vehicles. However, respondents may hold implicit attitudes that differ from their expressed answers to surveys because of social desirability bias, self-enhancement, or self-...

‘Car Pride’ in New York City vs. Houston: Towards a Cross-Cultural Comparison, Joanna Moody, jintai Li, and Jinhua Zhao , (2016)

Presented at the 56th Annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP), Portland, OR, 2016

Transportation planners routinely rely on surveys or other self-report measures to understand people’s mode choice attitudes. This understanding helps shape informational campaigns and other policy interventions to nudge travel behavior toward more sustainable modes and away from single-occupancy, gasoline-powered vehicles. However, respondents may hold implicit...

People

Chaewon Ahn's picture
PhD Student
Jungwoo Chun's picture
PhD Student
Jintai Li's picture
PhD Student
Joanna Moody's picture
Ph.D. Candidate
Xuenan Ni's picture
MCP/MST student
Shenhao Wang's picture
PhD Student
Zhan Zhao's picture
PhD Candidate
Jinhua Zhao's picture
Edward H. and Joyce Linde Associate Professor