Exploring the Factors Influencing Parental Choices on School Trips
Within the last decades, the examination and definition of factors affecting the mode choice decision on school trips has gained much of attention, as the completion of such trips represent a vast percentage of total travel demand. Key players of the decision process are students' parents, deciding how their children will complete everyday trips from their residence to the school unit and vice versa. The current study examines the factors affecting parents' travel mode choice for school trips of both primary and high school students in Thessaloniki city, Greece. Data collected is based on a questionnaire survey in which, 512 parents participated, stating their perception regarding the use of several transport modes for school trips and the motives behind specific adopted travel behavioural aspects. Three main topics are examined and analysed related to the parents' attitudes and their travel habits in the choice of motorized and non-motorized transport modes, the parents' perception regarding the built environment safety, and the parents' perception regarding specific parameters which appear to motivate them in the mode choice decision process. For the research analysis, a number of statistical methods and techniques are deployed, starting with descriptive statistical and Pearson's correlation analysis and proceeding with the exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. The results verify initial thoughts for critical factors which appear to affect parents' choices regarding their children’s school trips while they also gives an initial picture of parents' experiences regarding the school travel mode choice, in an urban environment of a typical Greek city.