The Way2Go program has clearly stated goals. It wants children, families and communities to be able to choose walking, bike riding and public transport to get around their local areas and for school journeys. Way2Go uses an evidence based approach to create change in travel choices. Through a process of engagement and consultation with school communities and local councils we can start to understand what shapes travel choices.
Collection of data and information enables a school to plan for change strategically, and to measure the effects of their actions over time. It’s an ongoing process. A range of tools are used to gather this evidence, with the Way2Go team providing detailed reports, maps and feedback.
Most survey and information gathering tools are online. Hard copies can be provided if required.
Surveys provide ‘snap shot in time’ information about the travel choices, attitudes and preferences of students, teachers and families in your school community. The patterns emerging from survey information can be very powerful in suggesting actions that might be taken to create change, and in knowing how much change has actually happened.
Focus teachers build on the responses from the teacher travel survey by consulting with school leaders and staff. This assists with identification and prioritisation of actions within the school travel plan. Anecdotal observations of the local road safety issues can assist the Way2Go team and local council with their review of school travel routes.
Way2Go staff, DIT and local government officers observe school drop off and pick up including the use of crossings and monitors. A report is prepared that includes recommendations for action. Signage locations are identified.
Teachers can include student collected data as part of the development of the school travel plan.
The collection process and analysis can be integrated into the curriculum to deliver the literacy and numeracy learning intentions and / or linked to Way2Go Bike Ed. Students record the number of bicycles, scooters or skateboards stored at school on a given day or over a week taking note of the day, date and other relevant details such as the weather. This data is collated either by the teacher or as part of a class activity.
The Way2Go team consults with school leadership, local government, school governing council and focus teachers about school transport conditions. This provides background for observations of student, parent and others' behaviour and assists local council with the determination of priorities for local area improvements. A web based survey often precedes the conversation with the principal.
The Way2Go team provides GIS maps, developed by DIT, using student residential locations.
The maps provide:
The whole school snapshot tool is used to create a snapshot of opinions and helps frame priorities and areas for action in the School Travel Plan. It is a broad brush tool and does not require the collection of specific data and information. The snapshot domains are;
The research Walking, riding or driving to school: what influences parents’ decision making? presents key findings and recommendations aimed at providing an evidence-based understanding of what influences parents’ decision making around primary school children’s active travel choices for the school commute.
The research has been undertaken by Dr Jan Garrard, Research, Evaluation and Active Transport Consultant, Deakin University, for the South Australian Department of Infrastructure and Transport (DIT), May 2017.
Key findings and recommendations for consideration when developing initiatives to increase the number of children and families walking, cycling or scooting to school include:
Clickable links to PDF’s below: