Cycling to School: Exploring Key Factors Influencing School-Going Children's Mobility Choice to Cycle in Tallinn, Estonia

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Cycling and other active travel modes have dominated sustainable transportation policy agenda of many cities worldwide. Cycling is deemed beneficial for individuals’ health and well-being while contributing to liveability. While Amsterdam and Copenhagen are considered frontrunners in cycling, others are only taking their first steps. Tallinn, Estonia belongs to the latter category, setting up their first Cycling Strategy in 2018. Amongst other measures, the strategy aims to make cycling safer and more attractive in the vicinity of schools in order to increase the share of cycling to school to 25% by 2027. This demographic group are seen as a crucial to influence the potential future of Tallinn’s cycling culture. Despite the abundant literature on cycling, there is little to no focus on children in aspirational cycling cities. This research explores factors that influence cycling to school in Tallinn among children in the ages of 13-16. The research includes street observations, a survey (n= 511) at various schools and focus groups sessions with children, parents and mobility experts. The findings support the need for comprehensive strategies including cycling infrastructure modifications and convenient cycle parking facilities together with promotional campaigns designated for children and parents.
school-going children, school travel, cycling culture, sustainable mobility