In recent years, China has repeatedly stated that CO2 emissions should reach a peak by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2060. China’s transport sector is playing an important role in meeting China’s targets, as the emissions of CO2 from it grow steadily. We apply the LMDI to analyze the impact of regional development patterns on emissions in China’s transport sector. Based on the Kaya identity, eight factors (including carbon intensity, energy structure, energy intensity, turnover intensity, traffic intensity, regional structure, per capita traffic activity and population size) are decomposed. The period 1997–2017 is divided into four phases according to the growth rate of carbon emissions. The driving factors of CO2 emission characteristic were varied by periods. The degree of driving factors’ influence also varies by region. The change in output growth rate of the regional transport sector is positively correlated with the change in the share of output value added, which is positively correlated with the change in emissions.