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Dijia Gong

The Chinese proverb ‘building roads is the first step to richness’ explains a close relationship between transport and rural development, which is no exception for the most remote and least developed regions. This chapter summarizes the key features of rural transport development and how rural transport closely interacts with rural and rural–urban development in China after the 1978 reform. Chronologically, under varied conditions, three phases are identified, namely slow, rapid, and steady development of rural road construction and service provision. Spatially, with a vast territory, great differences exist in the natural environment, level of socioeconomic development, causing obvious territorial imbalance in rural transport development, which is classified in five categories. With the policy intervention of new-type urbanization, urban–rural integration and beautiful countryside construction, trip features in rural areas have changed. The optimization for future rural public transport development is proposed from the dimensions of cognition, system, technique, operation and management.