Family Travel Survey

Gather data to understand parents' school travel choices & concerns


  • Education
  • Encouragement
  • Enforcement
  • Engineering
  • Evaluation


  • Students
  • Broader Community
  • Municipality
  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • School Board
  • Principals


  • 4-8
  • 1-3
  • 9-12
  • Kindergarten


  • Cycle
  • School Bus
  • Scooter
  • Skateboard
  • Walk
  • Transit
  • Car
  • Wheelchair


  • Student Skills
  • Traffic Problems
  • Student Supervision
  • School Culture
  • School Site
  • Lack of Data
  • Routes to School
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Theme: Encouragement, Evaluation
Audience: Municipality, Parents, Principals, School Board, Students
School Grade: 1-3, 4-8, Kindergarten
Mode: Car, Cycle, School Bus, Scooter, Skateboard, Transit, Walk, Wheelchair
Issues: Lack of Data, School Culture


To gain an understanding from parents and caregivers about what factors influence their child’s travel mode, and what are their top concerns about the journey to and from school.


A Family Travel Survey is a brief survey completed by parents/caregivers about their child’s school journey. The survey asks questions about: grade, school bus eligibility, travel mode, reasons for travel mode choices, travel time, factors that would encourage walking and cycling for the school journey, and locations of concern.

The survey findings help to:
– identify the key issues that need to be investigated further e.g. concerns about traffic speeds on a particular street; and
– explore what actions are needed to get more children to walk, cycle or take the school bus, e.g. installing bike racks or providing pedestrian safety training.

Analysis of the survey results can be used to plan the route for a Walkabout to take a closer look at the locations of concern identified by families.

As it involves contacting parents and caregivers, the Family Travel Survey should be conducted anonymously and with the consent of the School Principal. A paper copy of the survey can be sent home via student back packs or a link to an online version can be emailed to families.

What you will need:

Consent from the school principal, survey tools (see Resources below), school administrator (to help distribute the survey to families and collect responses).


Teachers, school administrators, parents and caregivers.


Survey template and guidance available in the “Canadian School Travel Planning Toolkit – Phase 2” by Green Communities Canada:
Paper Survey Template

Key Words:

survey, tools, data collection, travel mode, family travel behaviour, parental perceptions, parents, caregivers, families, students, traffic safety, walk, bicycle, school bus, public transit, car