Exploring Differences in Commuting Behaviour among Various Income Groups during Polycentric Urban Development in China: New Evidence and Its Implications
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Income status is an important variable that is strongly associated with certain commuting behaviours of workers. This paper presents new evidence on how polycentric development impacts on workers’ commuting behaviour among various income groups in Beijing, China. This study suggests that three key influencing factors—the public transport network, the location of affordable housing projects and the process of employment decentralisation—have played significant roles in affecting workers’ commuting behaviour. The results of regression analysis indicate that subway and bus transport significantly and negatively influenced the commuting times of low- and middle-income workers, but the two transport modes did not have a significant influence on the commuting times of high-income workers. The findings from this research suggest that policies for promoting employment decentralisation during polycentric development have the potential to reduce workers’ commuting times through promoting jobs-housing balance in the sub-centres. The results of this study indicate that a balanced jobs-housing relationship can be achieved through adjustment of affordable housing locations, and this can be effective in shortening low-income workers’ commuting times in the sub-centres of Beijing.
© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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