2007 - Research

The Implication of School Choice on Travel Behavior and Environmental Emissions

This paper examines how children’s travel to school is affected by school choice and providing bus service.

  • The number of students who walk to neighborhood schools is calculated at more than 6 times greater than the city-wide school.
  • In a scenario without buses, city-wide schools have six times fewer children walking to school, 4.5 times more miles traveled, 4.5 times the system cost and 4.5 times the emissions of criteria air pollutants and greenhouse gases.
  • Bus service decreases miles traveled and resulting emissions by 60-70% compared to no bus service.
  • The authors suggest policy recommendation for neighborhood walkability consider the implications of specific school district choice programs be addressed in conjunction with traffic patterns.

Wilson, Elizabeth J., Wilson, Ryan and Krizek, Kevin J. “The Implications of School Choice on Travel Behavior and Environmental Emissions.” Transportation Research Part D. 12.7 (2007): 506-518.