Many schoolchildren in the Lithuanian city of Kaunas are living outside the city centre in the surrounding suburbs. However, they often do not attend schools close to home and their commutes by car have an effect on the city environment. In the framework of the international project RESPONSE, Kaunas city municipality has launched a demand-responsive transport pilot to test out an alternative commute for schoolchildren.
Based on the analysis of people’s existing mobility habits in Kaunas, up to 10 percent of all trips include children’s transportation to educational institutions. As many as 68 percent of these trips consist of driving private cars, which might lead to negative consequences for the urban environment such as air pollution, high congestion, and lack of parking spaces near educational institutions.
Demand-responsive transportation solutions will be tested out in Kaunas to support families in finding more convenient alternatives for their children travelling between home and schools. The pilot offering minibuses to pick up children from home to school to extracurricular activities based on their need and through the use of an app, is coupled with a survey focusing on people´s transportation habits. Thus, the pilot aims to open up communication between the schools, municipality staff, and parents and inspire several schools to develop a “school mobility plan” for the first time.
The pilot will run from May 2021 until the beginning of December 2021, targeting about 2035 students from three schools.
The pilot is administered by the Kaunas City Municipality
Administration and set up in collaboration with the Norwegian public transport
company Ruter, a partner in the
RESPONSE project, as is Kaunas city.
Photo: Martine Doucet / Getty Images