Patterns and Dynamics of Regional Passenger Flows in China since the 1980s

  • Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China

Received date: 2004-02-01

  Revised date: 2004-03-13

  Online published: 2004-07-20


The pattern of passenger flows is one of the indicators reflecting spatial transport linkages. This paper examines the features, regional disparity and dynamics of passenger flow patterns in China since the 1980s. The post-reform period has witnessed clear changes in regional patterns of the average travel frequency per capita (TFPC, hereafter) in China. The major changes are: (1) the TFPC has been continuously rising in the fast-growing southeastern coastal provinces, including Zhejiang, Guangdong, Fujian and Hainan, and the ranking of these provinces in terms of TFPC has also gone up gradually; (2) the ranking of northeastern provinces (i.e. Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang) in terms of TFPC has fell down; (3) the TFPC of southern provinces with a big population has increased significantly, and among them Sichuan, Chongqing, Guizhou and Hunan registered a faster increase rate than national average; and (4) the TFPC of provinces in North China and the Northwest has remained at a comparatively low level. The relative disparity in provincial TFPC increased significantly in the 1980s while it narrowed down in the 1990s. One spatial features among other is that more and more southern provinces registered a high TFPC. The major factors leading to rapid growth of passenger flows are: (1) economic growth, which is the primer factor generating demands of people for various kinds of travel. The higher the income of people in a region is, the higher their travel frequency is, and the longer their travel distance is; (2) labor flow, which makes the low-income provinces have a high TFPC because of the huge out-flows of rural surplus labor into the fast-growing coastal regions; and (3) improvement of transport infrastructures, which enables people to travel more and longer.

Cite this article

ZHANG Wen-Chang . Patterns and Dynamics of Regional Passenger Flows in China since the 1980s[J]. SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA, 2004 , 24(4) : 385 -391 . DOI: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2004.04.385


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