PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (8): 1066-1074.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.08.006

• Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Job accessibility by transit and variation among different population groups and in different regions in Beijing

Tieshan SUN1(), Yingling FAN2, Yunlei QI2   

  1. 1. School of Government, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
  • Received:2017-11-01 Revised:2018-01-16 Online:2018-09-04 Published:2018-09-04
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41371005


Using the latest economic census and population census data as well as the transit-based travel time data obtained through the Baidu Map API, this study examines the job accessibility via transit in the Beijing metropolitan area and helps understand how well workers can access jobs by transit in Beijing and how it is different for various population groups and in different regions. Our results show that residents in the Beijing metropolitan area can reach 18.3% of metropolitan jobs within 60 minutes by transit, which is better than the average job accessibility via transit for 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, and similar to the New York metropolitan area. Due to the limited extent of job suburbanization as well as the hub-and-spoke pattern of the road and transit network in Beijing, there exist great regional disparities in the job accessibility by transit within the Beijing metropolitan area, with the job accessibility level significantly higher in the inner city than in the suburbs. Compared to jobs, population has suburbanized more extensively in Beijing, which has led to the great jobs-housing imbalance in the metropolitan area. With the increasingly more extensively decentralized spatial distribution of population, great challenges lie in further expanding the transit network to better serve the suburbs. Meanwhile, since most jobs in the inner city are oriented toward workers with higher levels of education, highly educated population is better served by the current transit system. Meanwhile, less educated population (without college degrees) and migrants reach less metropolitan jobs by transit because they are more extensively suburbanized due to their relatively low income and limited housing options. This raises a concern about the ability of suburbanizing disadvantaged populations to connect to job opportunities via transit. Therefore, multiple policies including affordable housing programs, transit investments, economic development initiatives, and appropriate land use planning should be coordinated to address the apparent spatial mismatch that disadvantaged population groups are facing.

Key words: job accessibility by transit, population groups, jobs-housing imbalance, regional variation, Beijing