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476660-00006-1 Report Abstract

Idle Reduction Programs and Potential Benefits to Schools

Michelle Hoelscher, Texas A&M University, November 2010, 161 pp. (476660-00006-1)

School districts in Texas and many other states have, in recent years, increased the “walk zones” surrounding schools to a 2-mile perimeter.  Inside this perimeter, either no school bus service is offered, or service is offered only with a fee to parents.  Many families living in these neighborhoods opt to drive their children to school, resulting in daily traffic congestion in front of schools (and often spilling onto adjacent streets).  The increased vehicle traffic surrounding school facilities presents safety concerns, increases congestion and emissions caused by vehicle idling, and can discourage walking and bicycling even for children living closer to the school.  This project will measure the cost benefits of implementing a school bus idle reduction program as a means to offset the cost of increased bus service.  Increased bus service would provide a less congested school zone thus providing a safer environment for walkers and bike riders living less than 1 mile from school.

Keywords: School Zone, Air Quality, Safety, School Bus Idle Reduction, Parents Idling, Idling Outreach and Education

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 16.2 MB)