H.T. Qiu, X.M. Li
People always think that if you have a car, then driving will become your major travel mode. However, not all car owners are motorists. This paper identifies reasons why some Chinese car owners do not make a majority of their trips by car. Data were gathered in an intercept survey in Beijing, China. We surveyed 457 car owners to determine the travel mode choice of each car owner for their respective daily trips. We then analyzed the data by using a rough set model. The results show that 60% of respondents did not make the majority of their trips by car. Therefore, we defined four types of car owners based on their different travel mode choice: motorist, bus dependent car owner (BCO), metro dependent car owner (MCO), and bicycle dependent car owner (BICO). Unsafe and uncomfortable public transit was the biggest barrier to getting car owners out of their cars; urban form (i.e., the convenience of overpasses and underpasses) had a strong association with a car owner’s odds of taking a bus, and time reliability was very important to car owners who choose metro and bike. In addition, male drivers were more likely to drive than female, and the main choice for family travel was driving. Based on our findings, current policies in China (i.e., increasing gas price and parking fees) need to take into consideration urban form, and improve public transit service (safety, comfort and accessibility), in order to get more car owners to drive less and optimize the transportation system.
Keywords: car owner; motorist; travel mode choice; influencing factors; rough set theory; policy