Comparing School Travel Characteristics of Students with and without Disabilities attending Post-Secondary Educational Institutions in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, Canada

Authors: Jordan Aharoni*, University of Toronto, Ron Buliung, University of Toronto Mississauga, Raktim Mitra, Ryerson University
Topics: Disabilities, Transportation Geography
Keywords: Student, Travel, Post-Secondary, Disability, Mode Share, Attitudes
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 49
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


As the activity-travel behaviour of post-secondary students has been developing as an area of research, little attention has been given to students with disabilities. This paper compares characteristics of school trips between post-secondary students with and without mobility impairment(s) at universities and colleges in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), Canada. We examine the differences in reported transportation mode share, and perceptions about commuting impacts on education, between these populations. Data are taken from the StudentMoveTO 2019 survey, a large-scale collaborative project whose goal is to better understand the activity-travel behaviour of post-secondary students in the GTHA. Students from ten post-secondary institutions participated in an online survey between October 1 and November 30, 2019; some students also filled out a one-day travel diary in addition to the survey questions. Students with mobility impairment(s) reported greater use of modified vehicles and shared modes, particularly with other household members. Students with mobility impairment(s) were also more likely to report that commuting discourages them from coming to campus and limits their academic success. Moving forward, we suggest increased support of the dominant modes used by students with disabilities, including components such as ticketing, information services, and enhancing the surrounding built environment.

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