Portrait of Jason Cao
295G Humphrey School
Currently reviewing Ph.D. applicants
Urban and Regional Planning Area
Areas of Expertise
Sustainable development; transportation planning; urban and regional planning


    Jason specializes in land use and transportation interaction, the effects of ICT on travel behavior, and planning for quality of life. He is internationally well-known for his research on residential self-selection in the relationships between the built environment and travel behavior. His recent work focuses on using machine learning to address the nonlinear relationship in the land use-transportation research.

    Jason has been oriented toward international collaboration. He works closely with scholars from the UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and China. Jason was the Chair of International Association for China Planning. He has been promoting urban planning scholarship in China by collaborating with Chinese researchers, uniting Chinese scholars, bridging Chinese and international scholars, and organizing international conferences and workshops.

    Jason leads research development in the fields of planning and transportation by editing journals and special issues. He is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of
    Transportation Research Part D, a leading journal in transportation research, and an associate editor of Transport Policy. He guest edited eight issues for six journals, including Journal of Regional Science, Journal of Transport and Land Use, Transport Policy, Transportation Letters, Transportation Research Part D, and Travel Behavior and Society.


    PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering (University of California, Davis, 2006)

    MS in Statistics (University of California, Davis, 2005)

    MS in Management Science and Engineering (Tsinghua University, 2001)

    BS in Civil engineering (Tsinghua University, 1998)

    Yang, L., Cao, X. J., Wang, Y., Lian, Y. & Guo, Z. (2024). Does metro expansion matter? Metro network enhances metro mode share of commuters living away from stations, but not those near stations, Travel Behaviour and Society, 34, 100664

    Sun, S., Guo, L., Yang, S. & Cao, J. (2024). Exploring the contributions of Ebike ownership, transit access, and the built environment to car ownership in a developing city, Journal of Transport Geography, 116, 103834

    Huang, Y., Ma, L. & Cao, J. (2024). Exploring the relationship between neighborhood environment and transport disadvantage during the COVID-19 lockdown, Travel Behaviour and Society, 34, 100696

    Sun, S., Yang, S., Guo, L. & Xinyu (Jason) Cao (2024). Individual and synergistic associations among transit allowance, land use, and transit commuting, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 128, 104100

    Tao, T. & Cao, J. (2024). Ineffective built environment interventions: How to reduce driving in American suburbs?, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 179, 103924

    Ding, C., Wang, Y., Xinyu (Jason) Cao, Chen, Y., Jiang, Y. & Yu, B. (2024). Revisiting residential self-selection and travel behavior connection using a double machine learning, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 128, 104089

    Wu, X., Cao, J., Fan, Y. & Anu, R. (2024). How Do Neighborhood Attributes Relate to Life Satisfaction and Neighborhood Satisfaction Differently?, Findings, (March), 1-7

    Shao, Q., Zhang, W., Xinyu (Jason) Cao & Yang, J. (2023). Built environment interventions for emission mitigation: A machine learning analysis of travel-related CO2 in a developing city, Journal of Transport Geography, 110, 103632

    Yin, C., Cao, J., Sun, B. & Liu, J. (2023). Exploring built environment correlates of walking for different purposes: Evidence for substitution, Journal of Transport Geography, 106, 103505

    Tao, T. & Cao, J. (2023). Exploring nonlinear and collective influences of regional and local built environment characteristics on travel distances by mode, Journal of Transport Geography, 109, 103599

    Huang, Y., Ma, L. & Cao, J. (2023). Exploring spatial heterogeneity in the high-speed rail impact on air quality, Journal of Transport Geography, 106, 103498

    Wang, J., Xinyu (Jason) Cao, Liu, K. & De Wang (2023). Exploring the nonlinear effects of built environment characteristics on customized bus service, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 114, 103523

    Tao, T., Wu, X., Cao, J., Fan, Y., Das, K. & Ramaswami, A. (2023). Exploring the Nonlinear Relationship between the Built Environment and Active Travel in the Twin Cities, Journal of Planning Education and Research, 43(3), 637-652

    Ding, C., Zhou, X., Cao, X. J. & Yang, J. (2023). Spatial and mediation analysis of the influences of residential and workplace built environments on commuting by car, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 171, 103662

    Cao, J. & Tao, T. (2023). Using machine-learning models to understand nonlinear relationships between land use and travel, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 123, 103930

    Dong, Y., Li, F., Cao, J. & Dong, W. (2023). What neighborhood factors are critical to resident satisfaction with old neighborhoods? An integration of ground theory and impact asymmetry analysis, Cities, 141, 104460