Author

Jing Yu Pan

Date of Award

7-2017

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Aviation

Department

College of Aviation

Committee Chair

Dothang Truong, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Steven Hampton, Ed.D.

Second Committee Member

Franklin Richey, D.B.A.

Third Committee Member

Thapanat Buaphiban, Ph.D.

Abstract

With a large population, China is an ideal market for high-speed rail (HSR) and low-cost carrier (LCC) services. While HSR has gained substantial market share in China over the past decade, LCCs have achieved only limited market penetration. The potential growth of LCCs in China, however, is promising given the growing travel demand and government policy support. As LCCs expand their service in the domestic market, they are likely to become a strong competitor of HSR. The potential competition between LCCs and HSR justifies the research of passengers’ behavioral intentions to use HSR and LCCs in China.

This research focused on factors that influenced passengers’ intentions to use HSR and LCCs in China. Based on the extensive literature review, this study adopted the theory of planned behavior (TPB) as the ground theory and developed the expanded TPB models for HSR and LCCs. In addition to the original TPB components, trust, total travel time, price, service quality, access, and frequency were added to the HSR model. For LCCs, the TPB model was extended with the inclusion of price, service quality, uncertainty avoidance, access, frequency, and technology self-efficacy.

This research used a survey method to collect data from LCC passengers in Shanghai and Shijiazhuang and from HSR passengers in Beijing and Shanghai. The total sample size was 484 for HSR and 596 for LCCs. This study used the structural equation modeling (SEM) method for data analysis. The results indicated that attitudes, subjective norms, price, access, service quality and total travel time were significant determinants of passengers’ intentions to use HSR; while frequency, trust and perceived behavioral control (PBC) were not important factors. Service quality had the strongest impact on passengers’ intentions to use HSR, followed by total travel time. For LCC passengers, attitudes, subjective norms, price, access, technology self-efficacy, service quality, and uncertainty avoidance significantly affected their motivation in using LCCs, while PBC and frequency were found insignificant. Price was the most important factor in passengers’ intentions to use LCCs, followed by service quality. The findings greatly enhance the understanding of passenger motivation in traveling by HSR and LCCs in China. The model comparison yields valuable insights into potential competition between HSR and LCCs in China. Both HSR and LCC passengers were significantly influenced by attitudes, subjective norms, price, access, and service quality in their decisions to use HSR and LCCs. The finding sheds new light into future competition between the two modes in China. The model comparison sample size was 484 for HSR and 596 for LCCs. This study used the structural equation modeling (SEM) method for data analysis. The results indicated that attitudes, subjective norms, price, access, service quality and total travel time were significant determinants of passengers’ intentions to use HSR; while frequency, trust and perceived behavioral control (PBC) were not important factors. Service quality had the strongest impact on passengers’ intentions to use HSR, followed by total travel time. For LCC passengers, attitudes, subjective norms, price, access, technology self-efficacy, service quality, and uncertainty avoidance significantly affected their motivation in using LCCs, while PBC and frequency were found insignificant. Price was the most important factor in passengers’ intentions to use LCCs, followed by service quality. The findings greatly enhance the understanding of passenger motivation in traveling by HSR and LCCs in China.

The model comparison yields valuable insights into potential competition between HSR and LCCs in China. Both HSR and LCC passengers were significantly influenced by attitudes, subjective norms, price, access, and service quality in their decisions to use HSR and LCCs. The finding sheds new light into future competition between the two modes in China.

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