Starting in 2015, BERC researchers became interested in high school student commutes and the potential relationship with attendance and tardiness. This first report examines the commutes of high school students in Baltimore, who rely extensively on the existing public transportation infrastructure to get to their school of choice.
- The average student commute to high school using public transportation is estimated to take 36.2 minutes.
- We estimate that approximately 13,000 high school students (6 out of 10) rely on public transportation to commute to school. These students represent a large public transportation user group, especially during peak transit times on school days.
- On average high school student commutes are more complicated than the typical public transportation user. Notably, we estimate that 2 out of 3 (68%) high school students will need at least one transfer to get to school; this differs substantially from estimates of the entire system (47%).
- One third of students who use public transportation to get to school (33.5%) do not feel safe during their commutes. While this is higher than students who use other modes of travel to commute to school, overall, 30% of students do not feel safe going to and from school, regardless of how they get there.
- The last portion of student commutes, the distance from the last public transportation stop to school, may present challenges for students at many schools.
- If all students were to arrive at school exactly on-time the transit system would not have the capacity to meet this demand.