Who will be the biggest winner when 40 cities across the country open the subway era?

 Who will be the biggest winner when 40 cities across the country open the subway era?

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In urban construction, transportation takes the lead. Since 1969, Beijing has become the first city in the mainland to have a subway; by December 31, 2019, 40 mainland cities have been listed on the list of urban rail transit.

Record has become one of the key words for the development of urban rail transit in this year.

News broadcast described Chengdus three lines in one time with a total mileage of more than 100 kilometers, as a new record in the development history of Chinas rail transit; China Urban Rail Transit Association will also add five new operating cities and 968.77 kilometers of operating lines in one year, which is described as another record.

Whats the performance of different places behind the brilliant total report card? Looking into the future, who is likely to be the biggest winner?

The rapid rise of the central and Western Regions

In the past three years, the growth speed of urban rail transit is amazing.

From the first time in 2017 to break the 5000 kilometer mark, the total operating mileage has increased year by year. According to the latest data of China Urban Rail Transit Association, as of December 31, 2019, 6730.27 kilometers of lines have been operated in the mainland. In just two years, the growth rate has even exceeded one third (34.02%).

Also in 2019, 5 cities including Wenzhou, Jinan, Changzhou, Xuzhou and Hohhot opened and operated urban rail transit. This figure is also higher than the previous two years of four cities and one city. Since then, there have been 40 cities on the roster of urban rail transit cities in the mainland.

From the perspective of regional distribution, the eastern region started early, with the total operating mileage accounting for 60% of the national total. Although the share of new mileage in 2019 has been reduced, it has also taken half of the total. In contrast with the East, the northeast region accounts for 7.7% of the total mileage, and the newly increased mileage in 2019 only accounts for 6.8% of the total mileage in China.

*Note: the left figure shows the proportion of operating mileage of each region in China; the right figure shows the proportion of new mileage of each region in China in 2019.

In contrast, the central and western regions, which are increasingly attractive to cities, have become the main force of this round of sub cake. In 2019, the new mileage in the western region accounted for nearly a quarter of the total mileage in the country; the central region was the most obvious self breakthrough region, with an increase of 26.8% compared with the previous years total mileage.

Increase of total mileage of urban rail transit in 2019

Specifically, in 2018, Qingdao, Wuhan and Guangzhou ranked the top three in terms of new growth, while eastern cities accounted for two seats. In 2019, the East, the West and the East account for one city respectively, ranking Chengdu, Beijing and Zhengzhou in order. It is worth mentioning that, although the northeast region is slightly weak in this round, Shenyang, Liaoning Province still ranks fourth with a new mileage of 57.02 km.

It is not hard to see that the development of urban rail transit, to some extent, has also become the barometer of urban competitiveness - the rapid rise of the eastern region, the rapid rise of the central and western regions, and the development difficulties of northeast cities, all reflected in the report card of urban rail transit.

Nanjing stands out, Hangzhou falls behind

This resonance at the same frequency is not without trace.

Ding Changfa, associate professor of Economics Department of Xiamen University, pointed out earlier that the population is accelerating to gather in the central city. Compared with highway transportation, the development of rail transportation plays a fundamental supporting role in making the central city platform bigger and stronger.

On the contrary, the operation and development of urban rail transit can not be separated from the support of passenger flow; in addition, after the threshold of 40% financial funds was set in No. 52 document in 2018, the construction of rail transit can not be separated from the guarantee of urban financial resources.

From the complete list of urban rail transit at the end of 2019, nine of the top ten cities in the 40 cities are the top ten cities in GDP in the first three quarters of 2019. The only exception is Nanjing, which ranks 11th in GDP, with track mileage ranking fifth. Hangzhou, which originally ranked 10th in GDP, only ranks 16th in track mileage.

Ranking of operation mileage of urban rail transit in mainland China

*Note: as of December 31, 2019, the total mileage includes subway, light rail, monorail, urban fast rail, modern tram and other systems; the red part is the new mileage of the year; the first three quarters of the top 15 cities with GDP ranking have been marked in the figure.

It has been pointed out that this may be related to the landing of the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing a few years ago.

At that time, many infrastructure projects were completed at the turn of 2017 and 2018. In October 2017, the operation mileage of Nanjing Metro was only 258km, lagging behind 285km of Shenzhen. However, before the Spring Festival in 2018, Nanjing opened several subways in succession, surpassing Shenzhen. At present, its total mileage is 394.3km, second only to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

However, it is worth mentioning that Nanjing is the only one of the top ten cities with no new mileage in 2019; as of the end of the 13th five year plan, its planned mileage is still only about 500 km. Facing the accelerated construction of rail transit in Wuhan and other cities, it can be said that Nanjings current ranking is not solid.

There are also large-scale sports events. For Hangzhou, there is still some time to enjoy the bonus. Not only does the total mileage of urban rail transit fall out of the top 15, but Hangzhou is also the only one among the top 10 cities in terms of GDP, whose total mileage has not yet reached the threshold of 200 kilometers.

Just at the end of 2018, Hangzhous third phase construction plan of urban rail transit (2017-2022) was adjusted, adding 68.3km. The reason for the official announcement is that Hangzhou, as the host city of the 2022 Asian Games, needs to improve its public transport system and service guarantee ability for the high-quality development of the city and major international events.

In 2022, it will be the next big node of Hangzhou urban rail transit. According to reports, this year and next year Hangzhou Metro will usher in a great harvest.. Before the 2022 Asian Games, the operating mileage of urban rail transit will exceed 300km.

Central city qualifying

As Ding Changfa said, the development and expansion of rail transit is of great significance to making the central city bigger and stronger. Focusing on the first tier cities and national central cities, Beijing and Shanghai are outstanding in terms of total Metro mileage, followed by Guangzhou, with Chengdu and Wuhan as the third tier.

Shenzhen is worth noting. As the youngest first tier city, Shenzhen has not been open to urban rail transit for a long time.

The first subway opened in 2004, not only the latest in the first tier cities, but also a step slower than Changchun, Dalian, Wuhan and other cities. This is one of the reasons why Shenzhen, the third largest city in terms of GDP in the first three quarters of last year, has only the eighth largest operating mileage in the mainland.

In recent years, Shenzhen has been catching up with multiple lines under construction at the same time. By the end of 2019, the operating mileage of Shenzhen has exceeded 300 kilometers for the first time; in 2020, the goal of Shenzhen is to reach the great pass of 500 kilometers.

Similarly, the subway just broke through 300 and immediately pointed to 500. The acceleration of Chengdu is even more obvious than that of Shenzhen.

In 2010, Chengdu ushered in the first subway. This is six years later than Wuhan, the earliest city in the Midwest. But later, Chengdu will open a total mileage of more than 100 kilometers in 2019, setting a new record in the development history of Chinas rail transit; in 2020, Chengdu Metro will open 5 lines. At that time, Chengdu will add more than 200 kilometers of operation mileage, which is expected to exceed 515 kilometers at one stroke.

Prediction of the total mileage of each city in the near future

Forecast data = running mileage + under construction mileage

*Note: the mileage data under construction in Wuhan is not available, so it is replaced by the operating mileage + the latest approved mileage

Besides mileage, the more prominent function indicator is to realize the share rate of urban public transport by rail.

Just in the past December, Shenzhen proposed that by 2035, the share rate of urban public transport should be more than 85% through rail. At present, the data released by Shenzhen has reached 60%.

Prior to this, Chengdu has said that by 2035, the share of public transport travel accounted for 70% of the motorized, and rail travel accounted for 80% of the public transport.

The traffic problem is a major challenge that the city faces every day, and also an important factor for the sustainable development of the city. Looking around the world, Tokyos commuter rail lines have taken on more than 90% of public transport trips, and New York Metro accounts for about 85% of public transport share.

For the central city which is developing rapidly at present, how to improve the share rate of urban public transport by rail is also a required course in urban upgrading.

Full text data source: data from China Urban Rail Transit Association, public reports, and official websites of rail transit groups in different regions, with slightly different statistical caliber; the above data does not include Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan; sorted and mapped by urban evolution theory.

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