Authoring Organization:Vermont Safe Routes to School
This report describes how student school travel in the U.S. changed from 1969 through 2009 using information from the 2001 and 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) and the 1969 and 1995 Nationwide Personal Transportation Surveys (NPTS). The report presents the two measures of school travel captured by the NHTS and NPTS: usual school travel mode as reported by parents (1969, 2009), and the school travel mode as reported by students on the day they completed a travel diary (1995, 2001 and 2009).
This report aims to describe how federal and state agencies met the requirements of the legislation; the program’s reach and types of projects funded; and an overview of how state programs are administered.
Soon after the establishment of the Federal SRTS Program in 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School launched a data collection system to support local program planning and evaluation and to monitor student commute patterns nationwide. Seven years after the start of the Federal program, the National Center analyzed more than 525,000 parent surveys from nearly 4,700 schools to look for changes in travel patterns and parent perceptions about walking to school.
The back-to-school season this year has led to a media spotlight on how children get to school, particularly how they can walk to school safely.
Chicago, where elementary school closings led to 13,000 students being assigned to new schools, has drawn national attention from the likes of The New York Times, CBS News and NPR for its “Safe Passage” program to promote safe walking for students.