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Does a circular high-speed rail network promote efficiency and spatial equity in transport accessibility? : evidence from Hainan Island, China

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

This paper investigates the efficiency and spatial equity impacts of a unique island-looping high-speed rail (HSR) network in Hainan province, China. An integrated network and raster-based model is applied to accurately measure the accessibility indicators. We perform analysis at four different geographical planning levels - island, corridor, spillover, and county level. The HSR with a non-polarized topology can increase the accessibility of the entire island and corridor, but only leads to a slight increase in the spillover areas without HSR stations. HSR construction also leads to spatial cohesion for the entire island and corridor. Although the circular HSR network consists of several HSR stations distributed relatively equally, the results show that counties contribute differently to the cohesion of the entire island due to the varied initial level of accessibility values. Moreover, the county-level analysis reveals that the internal changes of each county are also different with balancing, polarization, and neutral effects appearing. Therefore, the internal equity of counties needs to be combined with their external contributions to global equity. Our framework permits policymakers to make customized HSR transport policies at different planning levels, particularly for an isolated area.
ISSN: 1029-0354
Issue: 7
Volume: 41
Pages: 779 - 795
Publication year:2018