At the upcoming American Public Health Association 2017 Annual Meeting and Expo, Dr. Angie Cradock of the Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health will present findings on school travel modes and active transportation among Boston Public School Students during Spring 2015.
Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Time: 9:10 AM – 9:30 AM EST
Location: Georgia World Congress Center and the Omni Hotel Atlanta at CNN Center
Session Title: School Travel Modes and Active Transportation Among Boston Public School Students in Spring 2015
Background: School transportation modes may differ according to student grade, school location and distance from school. This analysis provides a comprehensive look at student-reported school travel mode in a large, urban district to inform strategies to promote active school transportation. Methods: Primary transportation mode to/from school (public transit, walking, bicycling, car or school bus) was reported by 17,560 students in grades Pre-Kindergarten–8 in 986 classrooms in 78 of 98 eligible schools during Spring 2015. Teachers reported classroom grade, and school district administrators provided school level, neighborhood, and percent of students in each grade residing within walking distance of school. Factors associated with the percentage of students taking each mode were estimated in linear mixed models, nesting classrooms within schools. Results: In 2015, 42% of students reported riding a school bus, 32% traveling via car, 18% walking, 6% using public transit, and 1% bicycling. Overall, 39% of students lived within walking distance of school, with significant differences observed by grade and school neighborhood. Reported rates of walking to school increased with grade (P<0.001), while taking a car declined (p<0.001), after accounting for the percentage residing close to school. Transit use was highest in grades 7-8, where schools promote transit use instead of yellow buses by providing free student transit passes. Discussion: Patterns of school travel mode associated with residing close to school, grade, school neighborhood and bus policy across a large, urban school district can inform strategies to encourage active school transportation and prioritize investments in local infrastructure and programming.
Learning Areas: Chronic disease management and prevention Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice Program planning Public health or related public policy Public health or related research Social and behavioral sciences
Learning Objectives: Describe how a student travel tally can provide data on student-reported school transportation modes. Compare the usual travel modes reported by students in a large, urban school district. Describe patterns of school travel mode associated with residence within walking distance of school, grade, neighborhood and bus policy across a large, urban school district and their implication for promoting active transportation.
Keywords: Physical Activity, Transportation
- Angie Cradock, ScD, MPE, Senior Research Scientist, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Deputy Director, Harvard Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health