Exploring Adolescent Walking Bus Graduates' Attitudes and Practices regarding Walking and Driving

Tue a.m. early

Abstract Remit

2009 marked a decade since the introduction of walking school buses (WSBs) in Auckland. Thus, children who participated in WSBs at early-adopting schools are now adolescents. Identifying and interviewing a sample of these students presented the possiblity of exploring with them their  current attitudes and practices with respect to walking and driving. This paper reports  on  this exploratory study that sought to explore teenager’s retrospective experience of Walking School Buses (WSB), their current attitudes and practices with respect to everyday mobility, and their aspirations regarding driving. A purposively selected sample of WSB ‘graduates’ in three suburbs of Auckland were interviewed in December 2009 . An analysis of the resulting narratives showed definite traces of an acculturated ‘residue’ of WSB experience which saw former WSB participants maintaining a keen commitment to walking as teenagers.

Author Profile

Professor Robin Kearns is a social and health geographer whose research includes a focus on urban design and active travel. He was involved in establishing Auckland's first walking school bus in Mt Albert in 1999 and since then has assisted in the planning and evaluation of the region's WSB programme.

Organisation or Business: 
School of Environment, The University of Auckland
Document Type: 
Robin Kearns
Session or Keynote: 

About Us

Living Streets Aotearoa is the New Zealand organisation for people on foot, promoting walking-friendly communities. We are a nationwide organisation with local branches and affiliates throughout New Zealand.

We want more people walking and enjoying public spaces be they young or old, fast or slow, whether walking, sitting, commuting, shopping, between appointments, or out on the streets for exercise, for leisure or for pleasure.

JOIN US and help with our campaigns