Understanding school travel behavior and the impact of awareness raising to promote resilient public bus system

In Transport and Communications Bulletin for Asia and the Pacific
Volume (Issue): 90 "Resilience of Transport Systems and Services"
Peer-reviewed Article

In fast-growing coastal cities, dependable public transport, diversity of modes, and social inclusion are among several factors that contribute to resilient transport. However, these factors depend critically on whether key ridership segments are aware of the benefits of public transport. This article describes the effects of an awareness raising campaign intended to encourage junior high school students to use public transport in Semarang, Indonesia. The article analyzes the campaign’s impact by comparing student responses to a survey on the use of the bus system for school trips before and after the campaign in three junior high schools in Semarang. The survey demonstrated that, though a diversity of modes exist for school trips, parents often influence student mode choices. For some respondents, parents preferred family drop-offs and online taxi pick-up services to public transport. However, the public bus or quasi-bus rapid transit (BRT) (known as Trans Semarang) may hold promise to increase student mode share because it offers comfort, security, opportunities to socialize as well as discounted student prices. Encouraging a modal shift from private to public transport for school may improve urban transport resilience. However, a lack of public bus infrastructure remains a sizable hurdle to this worthy objective