Chinese Geographical Science ›› 2016, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (3): 410-428.doi: 10.1007/s11769-016-0806-1

• Articles • Previous Articles    

Spatial-temporal Characteristics and Factors Influencing Commuting Activities of Middle-class Residents in Guangzhou City, China

DAI Dandan1, ZHOU Chunshan1, YE Changdong2   

  1. 1. School of Geography and Planning, Guangdong Key Laboratory for Urbanization and Geo-Simulate, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China;
    2. Urban and Rural Planning, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510264, China
  • Received:2015-06-02 Revised:2015-09-28 Online:2016-06-27 Published:2016-05-09
  • Contact: ZHOU Chunshan
  • Supported by:

    Under the auspices of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41271182)


The middle class in metropolitan Chinese cities has become an important social group. With the rapid development of urbanization and constant advancement of suburbanization, the middle class has increasingly come to influence city traffic. Research into middle-class commuting activities thus has practical significance for improving traffic congestion and reducing the commuting burden in metropolitan cities. Based on a dataset formed by 816 completed surveys, this paper analyzes the commuting mode, time and distance of middle-class residents in Guangzhou City using the descriptive statistical method. The results indicate that private cars are the main commuting mode, followed by public transport. Meanwhile, middle-class residents mainly undertake medium-short time and medium-short distance commuting. The study subsequently uses multilevel logistic regression and multiple linear regression models to analyze the factors that influence commuting mode choice, time and distance. The gender, age, number of family cars, housing source and jobs-housing balance are the most important factors influencing commuting mode choice; housing, population density, jobs-housing balance and commuting mode significantly affect commuting time; and transport accessibility, jobs-housing balance and commuting mode are the notable factors affecting commuting distance. Finally, this paper analyzes what is affecting the commuting activities of middle-class residents and determines the differences in commuting activity characteristics and influence factors between middle-class and ordinary residents. Policy suggestions to improve urban planning and urban management are also proposed.

Key words: middle-class residents, commuting mode, commuting time, commuting distance, influencing factors, Guangzhou City, China