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.
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.