Economics at your fingertips  

Sustainable school commuting – understanding choices and identifying opportunities

J Andrew Kelly and Miao Fu

Journal of Transport Geography, 2014, vol. 34, issue C, 221-230

Abstract: Travel to primary or secondary school during term constitutes a significant portion of the early morning flows of people on a transport network within all developed nations. Where school commutes are made by private cars there can be a significant contribution to early morning traffic congestion and associated externalities, as well as missed opportunities in regards to benefits that would accrue from higher occupancy and non-motorised modes of travel. This paper considers the challenge of shifting primary school students away from private car drop offs (PCDOs) in a case study area where over 60% of primary school children are driven to school. The paper engages and analyses an array of recent census and transport specific data through econometric and GIS-based methodologies to update and understand the modal choice decision factors involved, and to identify appropriate opportunities for change which may thereafter be trialled, supported and developed. The authors identify distance to travel as the most significant determinant of mode choice, and furthermore, by utilising a blend of GIS and census data, identify 2km as a guiding ‘splitting line’ or threshold between the alternative modes of walking and using transit or other motorised modes. This guidance on a distance splitting line is not a rule, but can inform the tailoring of modal shift intervention strategies appropriate to the specific circumstances and current behavioural trends. Above 2km the paper finds that students rarely walk to school and offers an evidence based recommendation for specific school bus services or coordinated carpooling as part of the solution. Below 2km, a walking school bus can serve as a functional substitute to PCDOs and is identified as feasible for certain areas given the student densities and school locations. In both cases recent technological innovations can support change. The research further finds that low car ownership rates, students having siblings and living in safe areas encourage the use of substitutive modes over PCDOs. The analytical approach of the paper can be replicated and the full detail of the analysis can offer guidance for community coordinated actions and local authority interventions to support sustainable school travel outcomes.

Keywords: Transport; Mode; Schools; Sustainable; Commute; Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (7) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2013.12.010

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Transport Geography is currently edited by Frank Witlox

More articles in Journal of Transport Geography from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2023-11-09
Handle: RePEc:eee:jotrge:v:34:y:2014:i:c:p:221-230