Many emerging economies, including China, are undergoing rapid and large-scale urban spatial transformation. Thus, the daily mobility of transportation-disadvantaged groups, especially non-car users, has received increased attention, as these people may experience significant restrictions in their daily activities. Such restrictions raise issues with respect to transport-related social exclusion, which are detrimental to the sustainability of urban transportation systems. Activity participation and time use have been used to measure the spatial barriers and inequalities that travelers face in their daily lives. However, limited research has been conducted on how the daily mobility of different transportation modes has evolved over a longer period relative to urban development. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the activity participation and time use of car travelers in comparison with other transportation mode groups in Kunming from 2011 to 2016, a period of rapid growth in motorization. A three-layer activity structure was used to characterize the hierarchy of activity requirements. Propensity score matching was used to compare the mobility of commuters across different urban periods and transportation modes while controlling several confounding factors. Three conclusions were drawn from the results of the study: First, changes in urban form and transportation system cause residential suburbanization and a considerable increase in private-car and public transportation at the expense of non-motorized transportation modes. Second, the degree of impact of urban space transformation on personal mobility is ranked in descending order of public transit, cycling and walking, e-bike, and cars. Third, the traffic disadvantage of non-car users is obvious, and the mobility gap of commuters with different travel modes tends to widen over time. We discuss the consequences of transport-related social exclusion and highlight directions for future sustainable transportation planning research.
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