Title

A METHODOLOGY FOR EVALUATING WALKING BUSES AS AN INSTRUMENT OF URBAN TRANSPORT POLICY

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2003

Subject Area

planning - surveys, economics - appraisal/evaluation, place - urban, mode - bus, mode - pedestrian

Keywords

Walking buses, Walking, Urban transportation policy, Surveys, School trips, School children, Parents, Modal shift, Methodology, Methodologies, Evaluation and assessment, Data collection, Data acquisition

Abstract

This paper describes the development of a methodological framework to evaluate a new initiative, called "walking buses." A walking bus consists of a group of children who walk along a set route, escorted by adults, and stop to collect other children along the way at specific stops. The objective of the walking bus concept is to encourage children to walk to school. However, there has been little systematic evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of these walking buses as policy instruments. The methodology for evaluation proposed in this paper involves the collection of data from five parties: the school administrator, the walking bus coordinator, the children, the parents and the volunteers who escort the walking bus. The data from the administrator and the coordinator can be used for a subjective evaluation to see if the walking bus achieves the original objectives set for it. An objective evaluation can measure outcomes such as the changes in the mode of transportation used, the extra distance walked by children and the time use by the adults involved. Qualitative outcomes gathered by asking the children and adults what they see as the benefits and disbenefits can be quantified by establishing how many people mention a particular outcome. Careful testing of the research instruments is needed to balance the need to collect comprehensive data and the capabilities of the youngest respondents. The methodology is still under development and needs further refinement.

Comments

Transport Policy Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0967070X