Analysis of Urban Car Owners Commute Mode Choice Based on Evolutionary Game Model
Huawei Gong and Wenzhou Jin
As major cities develop in China and access to privately owned cars is increasingly possible the infrastructure is struggling to keep up. Traffic congestion is becoming a larger issue with the increasing affluence of the Chinese people making the ownership of a family car within reach for many. One method of dealing with the inconvenience of driving a private vehicle on a crowded roadway is public transportation. For the purposes of this study public transportation is synonymous with buses.
The idea behind this paper is that Chinese citizens will have to choose between driving a privately owned car and taking the bus as a form of public transportation. This is used to formulate a two-level game model. The public facilities of the roads have the characteristics of nonexcludablity and nonrivalry, this means that rational actors will take full advantage of them as long as they can by driving their own cars. According to the authors this situation is known as a “public facilities tragedy”, to avoid this the government must take action. The authors believe that the government must control the increase in the number of cars and the usage of private cars; at the same time the government should encourage the use of public transportation.
For this analysis the authors assumed that in the future car owners would give up driving and commute by public transit as urban public transportation becomes more developed. They then define group A as a low income group and group B as a higher income group. Group A is more likely to choose public transportation over a private car because it is more cost effective, while group B is more likely to utilize a private car even if it costs more.
The authors conclude that based on their analysis, the choice of how to commute is mainly affected by the factors of travel time, travel cost, and comfort level, and so forth. The choice is influenced by public transportation system development and by private travel restrictions put in place by the government.
This article takes a relatively simple idea for a game theory model and makes the explanation far more complicated than it needed to be. Part of the difficulty may arise from English not being the primary language of the authors. There were times in the article that words were unnecessarily vague and the logic could be difficult to follow as a result. The authors do admit that the payoff matrix is only an assumption of the ideal situation and that further study would allow them to come up with more refined and accurate results. As it stands the conclusions they came to based on the results were pretty broad.