Ticket to a Sustainable Future: An Evaluation of the Long-Term Durability of the Walking School Bus Programme in Christchurch, New Zealand

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - surveys, policy - sustainable, economics - appraisal/evaluation, technology - ticketing systems, mode - bus, mode - school bus, mode - pedestrian


Walking school bus, Walking, Volunteers, Test volunteers, Surveys, School trips, Parents, Local government, Christchurch (New Zealand), Case studies


Walking school buses (WSBs) are a fairly new concept in which parents or other adults walk a set route, much like a school bus, collecting children along the route and delivering them safely to school. Christchurch, New Zealand, initiated its first WSB in 2000. This study examines what factors influence the durability of the WSB initiative in Christchurch. Interviews with the parent coordinators of current and former WSBs provided the main source of information. The results indicate that the program is suffering a significant decline. Almost half of the WSBs that the City Council believed were operating had stopped functioning by mid-2003. Parent coordinators identified numerous difficulties, but the main problems were a lack of volunteers to share their workload and insufficient ongoing support from the school or Council. Based on the findings from this study, it is recommended that the Council restructure the organizational processes involved in order to provide parents with all the assistance necessary to sustain their WSBs.


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