Ontario Public School Boards’ Association's Public Education Symposium 2018

On Friday, January 26, 2017 I will be speaking at the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association's Public Education Symposium 2018 about the Kingston High School Transit Pass Program. Here is a synopses of the program:

During the 2016 & 2017 school year, the Kingston High School Transit Pass Program reached its goal of bringing free city bus passes to all high school students. This included providing students with on-bus orientation in the City of Kingston and providing the University of Waterloo the opportunity to study the numerous program benefits. For the period of September 2016 – August 2017, high school students took nearly 600,000 trips on public transit in the city of Kingston - up from 30,000 trips in its pilot year (September 2012 – August 2013). The U of W thesis “Impact of Free Transit Passes on Youth Travel Behaviour” was published in the fall of 2017. It found that Grade 12 students, on average, use the transit pass three times more frequently than Grade 9 students. This shows that as students become older and gain more experience with transit, they become more frequent transit users. Student feedback indicated that the transit pass facilitated more independent trips and helped students participate in more activities. Also, parents’ perceptions indicated that there are spatial constraints on their children’s independent mobility and that age was a determining factor on how far they can travel alone. The research study concluded that the transit pass is an important stimulant for travel independence for high schools students, and the program could be applied to other mid-sized North American municipalities. The Kingston High School Transit Pass Program has proven to be an effective behavioural change tool.