The role of transit accessibility in influencing the activity space and non-work activity participation of different income groups


  • Sui Tao Beijing Normal University
  • Sylvia He The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Dick Ettema Utrecht University
  • Shuli Luo The Chinese University of Hong Kong



Transit accessibility, activity space, activity participation, social equity, income


Improved accessibility by transit service constitutes a critical component in removing spatial barriers in daily mobility for disadvantaged groups. However, the effects of transit accessibility on the daily mobility and activity participation of different social strata remain inconclusive. This study investigates the role of transit accessibility on the activity space of three income groups in Hong Kong. The results show that the availability of transit stations and network accessibility by mass transit rail (MTR) are significantly linked to the spatial extensiveness of activity space of the higher- and medium-income commuters, while bus plays a more important role for the daily mobility of the low-income group. Concerning non-work activity participation, the low-income non-commuters appear less affected by the availability of MTR stations than the other two groups, suggesting a potentially lower ability of using MTR to carry out different daily activities. Our findings offer some in-depth insights into the possible social inequality of using transit service, thereby contributing to a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between transit accessibility and mobility in relation to economic status. Policy recommendations to alleviate transport disadvantage and improve social equity are proposed.

Author Biographies

Dick Ettema, Utrecht University

Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning

Shuli Luo, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Department of Geography and Resource Management


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How to Cite

Tao, S., He, S., Ettema, D., & Luo, S. (2022). The role of transit accessibility in influencing the activity space and non-work activity participation of different income groups. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 15(1), 375–398.