Key strategies for improving public transportation based on planned behavior theory: Case study in Shanghai, China

Linbo Li, Jie Xiong, Anthony Chen, Shanshan Zhao, Zhi Dong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


To advance public transportation development, it should be explored from the perspective of behavioral analysis. This paper adopts the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to study public transportation choice behaviors. The first aim is to explore the necessity of dividing subjective norms into an injunctive norm and a descriptive norm and to explore their roles in predicting behaviors. The second aim is to investigate the mechanism related to several key variables and their role in forming the intention to take transit. The third aim is to develop appropriate improvement strategies through the analysis of behavior, subjective norms, or perceived control beliefs. Empirical data were collected by distributing online and hard-copy questionnaires in Shanghai, China. A sample of 393 valid questionnaires was collected. An ordinal regression model was constructed based on the empirical data. The results reveal that TPB can be applied to explain choice behaviors with respect to public transport. Among the factors affecting travelers' intentions, attitude toward public transport is most decisive. Descriptive norms seem to have more direct effects on public transport use behaviors on the basis of the correlation coefficients. Injunctive norms, at least in this case, have a more obvious influence on travelers' intention to take public transport than do descriptive norms. Furthermore, on the basis of belief analysis, some critical approaches to improving the competitiveness of Shanghai public transportation are proposed that can be used to develop people-oriented public transportation policies and strategies in other similar cities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04014019
JournalJournal of Urban Planning and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Beliefs analysis
  • Improvement strategies
  • Public transportation
  • Subjective norms
  • Theory of planned behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies


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