A Case Study into the Environmental Context of Walking School Buses and Other Modes of Travel Used for the Journey to School
The journey to school involves a number of different modes of travel. Approximatelyhalf of all journeys to school in New Zealand rely on the use of an automobile. Thisheavy dependence on automobiles involves a number of environmental detractions.
Walking School Buses provide an alternative to cars as a mode of travel for thejourney to school. This mode of travel compares favourably in a number of respectswhen compared to other modes of travel and is generating considerable interest.
Based on a case study involving in-depth interviews with ten caregivers this papercompares whether and how Walking School Buses emerged from a different socialand cultural background when compared to other modes of travel. Four keyinfluences, in particular parenting culture, the work commitments that caregivershave, the risks posed by strangers and traffic, and the social fragmentation ofneighbourhoods were found to be significant in shaping the journey to school. Basedon finding a number of similarities between different modes of travel to school it isconcluded that the journey to school is embedded in a wider system of social andcultural ideas that shape Walking School Buses and other modes of travel alike.