The legacy of an intervention: Exploring teenage walking school bus ‘graduates’ mobilities in Auckland.

Robin Kearns, Alexandra Boyle, Christina R. Ergler


This paper explores the mobility experiences of 20 young people in three Auckland neighbourhoods who had, as primary school children, participated in walking school buses (WSB). This intervention engages children in routine chaperoned walking to and from school. Our contention was that this experience would leave a ‘traces’ of enthusiasm for walking as an everyday form of active travel in an environment in which driving is the aspirational norm. An analysis of narrative evidence revealed a range of themes indicating that, for these adolescents, walking is a multi-facetted practise that allows independence and sociability as well as access to friends and amenities. An openness to, if not advocacy of, walking on the part of teenagers appears to be a positive downstream benefit of WSB programmes. This disposition on the part of ‘graduates’ suggests they become informal advocates for more sustainable urban mobilities through a legacy of WSB participation.


adolescents, walking, neighbourhoods, walking school buses

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