Children’s travel behavior and implication to transport energy consumption of household

A case study of three Australian cities

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter


In developed countries, an increasing number of children are driven to school even if their school is within walking/cycling distance. The factors affecting parental decision on children’s travel mode to school are concern about traffic safety and pressure for parents to organize chain trips within their daily schedule. In literature the effects of this increase in parental use of cars on children’s physical activities and personal development as well as increased congestion around schools are discussed. However, there has been little focus on the energy use associated with children’s car travel to school. This study investigates Australian children who are driven to local schools. Qualitative interviews with parents from Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra were conducted to understand the daily routines of children’s travel to school and parents’ perceptions including environmental issues. The study found that many parents drive their children to local schools on the way to their work. The main reason is time pressure for parents. This is triggering extra fuel consumptions and greenhouse gas emissions of families. Comparison of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by family vehicle type is presented, and parents’ perceptions and priorities are discussed. Policy implications that could minimize energy use of family are outlined, and future research directions are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransport and Energy Research
Subtitle of host publicationA Behavioral Perspective
EditorsJunyi Zhang
Place of PublicationAmsterdam, Netherlands
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780128162842
ISBN (Print)9780128159651
Publication statusPublished - 2019


Cite this

Nakanishi, H. (2019). Children’s travel behavior and implication to transport energy consumption of household: A case study of three Australian cities. In J. Zhang (Ed.), Transport and Energy Research: A Behavioral Perspective (1 ed., pp. 129-154). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier.