Exploring influencing factors on metro development in China from urban and economic perspectives

Dong Lin, John D. Nelson, Jianqiang Cui* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


As an important form of public transport and utilisation of urban underground space (UUS), metro has been promoted in an increasing number of large cities in China. By the end of 2019, China’s 37 cities had developed metro systems with a total length of over 5000 km. It is widely acknowledged that urban and economic factors can significantly influence transport infrastructure development and UUS utilisation. The results of this study indicate that there are statistically significant relationships between urban and economic factors and the level of metro development. The results of the regression analyses show that the variables of metro operation history and general public budget revenue are significantly and positively related to metro operation length, number of lines and number of stations of cities with metros in China. Resident population in urban areas does not appear to be a significant determinant of the level of metro development when other urban economic factors are controlled for. Administrative division (prefecture-level cities) and economic regions (Northeast Region) are significantly and negatively associated with the level of metro development in China. The findings of this study suggest that policy and institutional factors, and operation history of metro, along with urban and economic factors such as economic capabilities, regional differentiation, and administrative divisions, play important roles in influencing the development levels of metro systems in China.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103877
Number of pages9
JournalTunnelling and Underground Space Technology
Early online date21 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • cities
  • metro
  • urban and economic perspectives
  • urban development
  • Urban underground space (UUS)


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring influencing factors on metro development in China from urban and economic perspectives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this