Factors affecting children’s journeys to school: a joint escort-mode choice model

Abstract

A child’s mode of travelling to school is influenced by, or dependent on, parental choices. Thus, an increasing proportion of car trips may reflect parental choices and constraints. Whether a parent can escort their children to school may depend on their scheduling and spatial constraints, e.g., work schedule and job location in relation to home and school locations. This research aims to understand the effect of household bundling constraints on a child’s escort-mode choice. In this study, school trip data are drawn from the 2001 SCAG (Southern California Association of Governments) Post Census Regional Household Travel Survey. The study area is the five-county Los Angeles region. Our findings show that the parents’, especially the mother’s, increased working hours and more distant job locations result in an increased likelihood of several alternative escort-mode choices. Mothers who work longer hours and further away from home are less likely to chauffeur their children. These trips have been substituted by alternative escort choices such as independent travel and being escorted by fathers, or alternative mode choices such as active commuting and busing. The effect of increased working hours may be offset by the option of flexible working hours, which allows parents to arrange more escort trips. This study elucidates an important aspect in explaining children’s changing mode choice in journeys to school and sheds light on current policy efforts in reducing children’s car dependency.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are indebted to Editor Patricia Mokhtarian and the three anonymous referees for their constructive comments and advice.

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Correspondence to Sylvia Y. He.

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He, S.Y., Giuliano, G. Factors affecting children’s journeys to school: a joint escort-mode choice model. Transportation 44, 199–224 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11116-015-9634-x

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Keywords

  • Children
  • Escort choice
  • Mode choice
  • Parental employment
  • School trip
  • Work arrangement