Walking and the role of 'dollars and sense' in travel behaviour change initiatives in the Wellington Region

Tue p.m. early

Abstract Remit

From persuading a Human Resources manager that supporting staff walking to work creates a more productive workforce to explaining the health benefits of more children walking to school; the economic benefits of walking are a common thread in the implementation and evaluation of Greater Wellington's Sustainable Transport programmes. This presentation provides an overview of a range of behaviour change initiatives involving encouraging walking that we've tried, highlighting their strengths and lessons learned.

The Wellington Region's School travel plan programme involves 12% of primary schools in the region and by 2013 will involve almost 40% of schools.  Walking is the way most children would like to travel school - but what is it worth, how can we best facilitate it, and how can we measure it? We look at the evaluation results of this programme, and walking events such as Movin' March, to try to answer these questions.

How much is it worth to an individual to walk to the shops or park instead of drive and which route is best? The Cycling and Walking Journey Planner shows people their shortest walking or cycling route between two locations. It includes a cost calculator which quantifies some of the benefits of walking a specific trip. Potential walkers are provided with vehicle cost savings, monetary health savings and carbon emissions saved compared with driving the same trip.

Getting employers to encourage their staff to walk to work means selling the business gains of a healthier workforce while desiging a programme that minimises time and cost to the organisation. Active a2b was a programme aimed to increase walking trips to work and involved more than 50 Wellington CBD organisations.  The programme offered individuals a free personalised programme of goal setting, social support, measurement and encouragement that they might have otherwise payed for at a gym. Both the individuals and workplaces stand to benefit financially. An evaluation of the programme will include assessing the economic benefits around the project's aim of reducing congestion in the Wellington CBD.

The 'dollars and sense' of walking needs to be apparent to an individual considering their travel options and to the school, parents or workplace asked to invest their time and budget. The evaluation of such projects also need to demonstrate the health and congestion benefits of walking.

Author Profile  

Key Presenter: Sam Winslow
Sam is a Senior School Travel Plan Coordinator in the Sustainable Transport team, Greater Wellington Regional Council.  The school travel plan programme started in 2006 and covers 28 schools in the region.  Sam's interests include the evaluation and monitoring of the programme and how walking benefit's children's independence, psycological wellbing and activity levels. She has recently designed a week long walking celebration for schools in the region, Movin' March.

Co-presenter: Simon Kennett, Active Transport and Road Safety Coordinator.

Organisation or Business: 
Greater Wellington Regional Council
Document Type: 
Region (NZ): 
Presenter: 
Sam Winslow
Session or Keynote: 
Behaviour