OPTIMISATION OF ACCOMPANIED TRIPS TO KINDERGARTEN BY USING AN ONLINE NETWORKING TOOL
Oliver Roider, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Juliane Stark, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Karin Ausserer, FACTUM OG Traffic and Socia
The research project kids2move aimed at reducing accompanied trips of adults to kindergarten in order to save time and mileage. An application was tested and the theoretical potential of savings was estimated by means of the Viennese transport model.
Every morning children are accompanied individually by adults on their way to the kindergarten. In the City of Vienna more than half of the children are walking, but up to 25% are still dropped off by private car. Independently of the transport mode used, most of the trips are made at similar times using mainly same routes. Very often accompanying persons return home after dropping off the children. This leads to the question of the amount of time and mileage which can be saved by linking parents in order to co-ordinate the accompanied trips to kindergarten. Several benefits from the parents’ point of view, but also for children (such as health benefits, positive influence on psychomotor development, increase of traffic safety in the surrounding of the kindergarten, awareness raising, promoting social interaction) could be achieved. Several good practical examples exist already for coordinating trips of children and promoting active travel, e.g. the campaign “Pedibus – Schulbus auf Füßen” in Switzerland or “Kinderzügle” in the Province of Vorarlberg in Austria organised across 16 kindergartens in the region. In all cases, the co-ordination is done by the parents themselves. Thus, the research project kids2move developed a prototype of an application to provide assistance for the co-ordination of trips to kindergarten.
In 2015 about 42,000 children visit a kindergarten in the City of Vienna. Analyses show that 8,000 person-hours are spent for walking to the kindergarten every morning (based on the calculation of the Viennese transport model). Assuming that every trip of a child is accompanied by an adult a lot of time could be saved by organising service trips among children of a kindergarten commonly. Although the City of Vienna is dense–populated offering a high quality of public transport supply, about 43,000 kilometres are made by car every morning to drop off children at the kindergarten. Most of the trips are longer than one kilometre so that a shift to walking seems to be unlikely. However, the average trip distance is about four kilometres, which is an ideally distance to cycle. Moreover, due to the organisation of carpools car-mileage and individual travel time could be saved. For example, the kindergarten “Rudolfsplatz” located in the city centre of Vienna hosts about 70 children. Every morning almost 14 person-hours are spent in total to reach the kindergarten by foot, of which 12 person-hours are spent on same routes (used by at least two children). 130 person-kilometres are daily driven by car, of which 102 person-kilometres are on the same routes.
In order to provide information and to influence the awareness as well as the decision making process of organising the daily trips to kindergarten, a prototype of an (online) application was developed. User needs and the acceptance were tested by face-to-face interviews and focus groups with kindergarten’s directors, parents as well as representatives of the umbrella organisations of the Viennese kindergartens. Most of the respondents rated the application as very useful. However, most of the parents responded that the elder the children are the more likely it is to co-ordinate trips to kindergarten in the morning. The paper presents the results of the interviews with key persons as well as the evaluation of the market opportunity of the application by calculating the potential for the City of Vienna.
Association for European Transport