This educational module presents an introduction to the planning concepts associated with public education land use and transportation in the United States. The module focuses on the interdisciplinary issue referred to as school siting. Further, the module also articulates challenges and best practices within school siting and transportation planning and presents a selection of resources intended to aid planners and policy makers considering strategies for implementing school siting concepts.


This education module focuses on the implications of school site decisions for transporting students to school. The school travel implications of where a school is built involve public educational agencies, communities and families through school travel mode decisions and associated costs. These costs include the cost of operating and maintaining a public school transportation system, as well as the cost of construction and acquiring critical system infrastructure, such as driveways at a school and buses for pupil transportation, as well as the private costs of school travel, like the value of parental drive time.


By the end of this module, participants will be able to:


The module is designed with four core components that interrelate the issue of school site location and school transportation. First, we provide a background section on school siting, with deep applied and conceptual information on school siting in the U.S. Second, we establish an overview of school transportation costs, which includes school travel cost categories and cost factors associated with the built environment and education policy. Third, we introduce the School Travel Cost Calculator and provide step-by-step instructions and detailed estimates of embedded methods. Fourth, and in conclusion, we outline resources pertinent to school siting, including model school siting policies, links to partner efforts and references.



This work was sponsored by a grant from the Southeastern Transportation, Research, Innovation, Development and Education (STRIDE) Center.