Mode Choice for Children’s School Trips: A Case Study on Independent Mobility in Schools Proximate to Mass Transit Stations in Bangkok, Thailand

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Phannarithisen Ong
Peamsook Sanit


Transit-oriented development (TOD) is essential to promote independent travel and encourage mass transit use among students, which has several advantages for their physical well-being and boosts their confidence in society. Despite a decade of mass rail transit development and TOD development in Bangkok, cars still queue to drop students at schools, even near transit stations. This presents a paradox: Why do students go to school in proximity to the mass transit system but not use the mass transit system? The high reliance on personal cars will inevitably shape children’s transportation habits in adulthood, significantly impacting the city’s air quality and exacerbating environmental pollution and traffic conditions. This research builds on the necessity for students attending schools near mass transit stations to use public transportation more.

This study reveals critical factors influencing school trips, including safety concerns, parental permission, and travel costs. Notably, children’s independence levels from their parents affect their mode choice and the frequency of using mass transit for school trips. The socioeconomic, demographic, trip characteristics, and transportation traits explain students’ high reliance on private cars.

 A significant finding of this study underscores the enduring impact of the typical lifestyle of Thai households and their strong reliance on private cars on travel behavior in Bangkok. The outcomes of this study provide valuable insights for urban strategic policies, advocating and encouraging students to use mass transit for school trips and normalizing its usage. This study holds potential benefits for BTS, MRT companies, and the Bangkok metropolitan administration in achieving their goal to promote mass transit.

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