Intercity Transportation System in China: Developments and Plans



Intercity Transportation System in China: Developments and Plans

Authors

S Zhao, Xiaozhi, Dalian University of Technology, CN

Description

The research introduces recent developments and plans of intercity transportation system in China and points out a few policies and measures for future reforms in China.

Abstract

China's rapid economic growth has created a mass demand for intercity transportation. The huge demands have been major challenges for the intercity transportation system in China. China has been seeking a comprehensive transportation system including private cars, buses, railway (including high speed railway), waterway and airplanes.

During 1978-2008, the overall GDP increased by approximately 80 times, averaging around 10% growth per annum; the urban population tripled while the total population increased by 30%; the volumes of passenger transportation and of freight transportation increased approximately 13 times and 11 times respectively. In Addition, China a densely populated country, having 122 big cities with population of 1 million or more, and distance between those cities are estimated as 1,061 kilometers. This implicates the importance of a good intercity transportation system for such a spacious country like China.

The research introduces recent developments and plans of intercity transportation system in China. This paper begins with an introduction of recent developments of transportation infrastructures and then demonstrates the changes of passenger and freight transportation flows as a result of dynamic development of transportation infrastructures. It is found that the share of passenger-kilometer by road has increased from 32.0% in 1980 to 53.8% in 2008, while the share of freight ton-kilometer by road has increased from 9.0% in 1980 to 42.4% in 2008, and railway is losing market shares. It is also interestingly to find that the trip length of railway reached approximately 500 kilometers for passenger transportation and approximately 800 kilometers for freight transportation respectively, while the trip length of air transportation reached approximately 1,500 kilometers for passenger transportation and 2,500-3,000 kilometers for freight transportation respectively. This implicates each mode may have its own market at a certain travel distance. It is worth seeing the changes of modal shares after the completion of network of High Speed Rail. The route of Wuhan-Guangzhou High Speed Rail (HSR) is selected to examine the impacts of HSR on the existing transportation system. The paper finally introduces the national intercity transportation plans including the integrated transportation plan, which was approved by National Development and Reform Commission in 2007, and points out a few policies and measures to better the development of the intercity transportation system in China.

Publisher

Association for European Transport