To promote sustainable urbanization and combat the economic, environmental, energy and safety issues that go with rapid motorization, the Ministry of Transport in China has introduced the "Transit Metropolis" program with a substantive amount of funds devoted to the implementation of the program in local governments. This represents the largest ever central government-led effort addressing transit metropolis development in the world. How has the program been implemented locally? Have the selected demonstration cities followed the same principle or taken comparable measures to implement their version of the transit metropolis? What is their performance? These questions remain unknown in the current literature. This article answers the above questions through a literature review, interviews and comparative case studies in Shenyang and Dalian, two large cities in Liaoning Province. It shows that both cities have successfully achieved the target levels for building a transit metropolis. Similarities between the two cities can be found their absence of any policies on automobile restriction and the presence of enormous efforts in transit network expansion and optimization. Differences lie in the fact that Shenyang has been more conventional in developing the transit metropolis, while Dalian has been more innovative and flexible in policy implementation. When comparing our empirical findings with the experience of creating transit metropolis elsewhere in China and in foreign countries, we find that policies and regulations restricting car use and calming traffic are not necessary conditions for successful transit metropolises; however, the attractiveness of transit infrastructure, combined with aesthetic and well-decorated street network is essential for a modal shift for transit. We also find that the perception on the transit metropolis in China more emphasizes transit service improvement, while the concept in Western countries more focuses on the shift of land use patterns that lean more towards influencing transit behavior.

Additional Metadata
Keywords China, Dalian, Policy implementation, Shenyang, Transit metropolis, Transport policy
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.3390/en11030481, hdl.handle.net/1765/115603
Journal Energies
Citation
Mu, R, & de Jong, W.M. (2018). A tale of two Chinese Transit Metropolises and the implementation of their policies: Shenyang and Dalian (Liaoning Province, China). Energies, 11(3). doi:10.3390/en11030481