What percentage of morning traffic congestion is caused by children being driven to school?

Personal motor vehicles taking K-12th grade students to school accounted for five to seven percent of vehicle miles traveled and 10 to 14 percent of all personal vehicle trips made during the morning peak period (7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.) in 2009.(1)  These percentages are based on an analysis of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Household Travel Survey and Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey. 

Older data suggested that 20 to 25 percent of morning rush hour traffic is attributable to parents driving their children to school.(2)(3)

  1. How Children Get to School: School Travel Patterns from 1969 to 2009 Prepared by the National Center for Safe Routes to School. November 2011. Available: www.saferoutesinfo.org/program-tools/NHTS-school-travel-1969-2009.
  2. National Highway Transportation Administration cited in Safe Routes to School: Pledging Safe Communities for our Children. 2003 Available: http://www.bikeleague.org/educenter/srts_pledge.pdf . Accessed January 17, 2006.
  3. Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions, England: Greater Vancouver Regional District: Morning Peak Trip by Purpose.

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