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The school run: Exploring carpooling as an intervention option in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), Canada


  • Arbour-Nicitopoulos, Kelly
  • Faulkner, Guy E.J.
  • Buliung, Ron N.
  • Lay, Jennifer
  • Stone, Michelle


The aims of this study were to identity the prevalence of carpooling as a school travel mode in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and to examine attitudes toward automobile school travel and carpooling among adults who drive their children to school. Telephone interviews were conducted with 1,001 GTHA parents/guardians of elementary school-aged children. Analyses indicated that 1.7% of the sample used carpooling as the primary school travel mode in the a.m., while 33.8% of the sample drove their child to school in the a.m. One quarter (25%) of the total sample had participated in a carpool for school travel with neighbors or friends at times. The main reasons for automobile school travel were convenience and safety. Those drivers who indicated carpooling to be more convenient reported carpooling to be more appealing, to interfere less with their current household schedule, were more interested in carpooling, placed a greater importance on using an environment-friendly travel mode, and had a greater proportion of non-English speakers than drivers who indicated carpooling to be inconvenient. These findings confirm that carpooling is an under-utilized school travel mode, and that there may be some scope in intervening among parents/guardians who perceive carpooling to be potentially convenient.

Suggested Citation

  • Arbour-Nicitopoulos, Kelly & Faulkner, Guy E.J. & Buliung, Ron N. & Lay, Jennifer & Stone, Michelle, 2012. "The school run: Exploring carpooling as an intervention option in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), Canada," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 134-140.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:21:y:2012:i:c:p:134-140
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2012.03.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Evelyn Blumenberg & Michael Smart, 2010. "Getting by with a little help from my friends…and family: immigrants and carpooling," Transportation, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 429-446, May.
    2. Ron Buliung & Kalina Soltys & Randy Bui & Catherine Habel & Ryan Lanyon, 2010. "Catching a ride on the information super-highway: toward an understanding of internet-based carpool formation and use," Transportation, Springer, vol. 37(6), pages 849-873, November.
    3. Shannon, Tya & Giles-Corti, Billie & Pikora, Terri & Bulsara, Max & Shilton, Trevor & Bull, Fiona, 2006. "Active commuting in a university setting: Assessing commuting habits and potential for modal change," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 240-253, May.
    4. Hai-Jun Huang & Hai Yang & Michael G.H. Bell, 2000. "The models and economics of carpools," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 34(1), pages 55-68.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jun Guan Neoh & Maxwell Chipulu & Alasdair Marshall, 2017. "What encourages people to carpool? An evaluation of factors with meta-analysis," Transportation, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 423-447, March.
    2. Buckley, Aaron & Lowry, Michael B. & Brown, Helen & Barton, Benjamin, 2013. "Evaluating safe routes to school events that designate days for walking and bicycling," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 294-300.
    3. repec:eee:transa:v:110:y:2018:i:c:p:128-148 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Sigurdardottir, Sigrun Birna & Kaplan, Sigal & Møller, Mette, 2014. "The motivation underlying adolescents׳ intended time-frame for driving licensure and car ownership: A socio-ecological approach," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 19-25.


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