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Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives



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The study explores the recent trends in school travel using the 2017 National Household Travel Survey data. The study also investigates the exogenous factors affecting the school travel mode choice using random parameters multinomial logit (RPMNL) model. The results indicate that urban school trips range between 3 and 5 miles, whereas, average rural trips are longer than 6 miles. School commute times are higher among lower-income households. Further, the share of school bus and auto has declined while that of walking and biking has increased in 2017. This change is significant among high school students. Like other studies, the findings of the RPMNL model confirm that students within shorter distances from school are more likely to walk or bike to school. However, the likelihood of riding a school bus for distances >15 miles is higher than that of auto, indicating a policy implication to support school transportation budgets, especially in rural school districts. Lower-income households have a higher likelihood of riding the school bus. Females are more likely to use a car and less likely to bike to school. Interestingly, households with more than three vehicles are more likely to use the school bus compared to no-vehicle households. Children living in rented houses are less likely to ride the school bus or car. Also, an increase in gas price is indirectly but positively linked with walking, biking, and auto use. The findings from this study will assist policymakers in formulating policies and planning decisions towards improvements in the current school travel trends.


2017 NHTS data; School travel; Trip mode choice; School bus; Walk; Bike


Transportation Engineering

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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