Walking School Bus Program Feasibility in a Suburban Setting

Map of Sweet home Central Schools.

Study school maps within the Sweet Home Central School District

Bumjoon Kang, assistant professor of urban and regional planning, and Chunyuan Diao investigate the feasibility of suburban walking school bus programs by studying conditions at Sweet Home Central School District in Western New York.

A walking school bus (WSB), a group of children walking to school under adult supervision, has social, environmental, and public health benefits. Although WSBs may require a certain neighborhood density and street configuration to recruit and organize groups, this spatial analysis showed that when 20% of students living near their school join WSBs, those students could form an adequately sized WSB group. This study's parent survey showed that about 40% of parents were likely to allow their children to walk to school if a friend accompanies them. Thus, this paper concludes that WSBs are feasible in a low-density suburban neighborhood setting.


Bumjoon Kang, Assistant Professor
Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Chunyuan Diao
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL


Journal of Planning Education and Research

Date Published