The Brasov Municipality provides free public transport to school for children learning in the city schools
Approximately 13000 pupils go to school in Brasov which generates a lot of traffic congestion around the schools area, especially in the morning. Many parents actually complained about this and, as a result, a local decision was adopted that pupils would benefit from free public transport.
The measure tried to ensure that a lot of car traffic generated by trips to and from school would be eliminated and traffic jams in the vicinity of the schools would be eliminated.
Initially, a screening was made by each school to identify the routes that the pupils used to go to and from school. In the first stage, pupils living less than two bus stops away from school were excluded from the gratuity of public transport. For the rest of the pupils, the school staff identified what bus/trolleybus routes were used by each pupil and the public operator would issue a free monthly ticket for 1 or 2 routes. This was conditioned by the pupil attending all classes in the previous month. The school would inform monthly the public transport operator about the attendance of each pupil.
Later, a new local decision was made to issue generally available monthly tickets to every pupil for all the public transport routes.
The main beneficiaries are the pupils between the ages of 7 and 18 but parents and car users also benefit from this.
The Municipality pays approximately 180 000 Euro/month for the monthly tickets for about 13 000 pupils.
Human resources in the schools were highly involved in the first stage as they had to fill out a lot of monthly data about attendance. In the 2nd phase, pupils receive directly an electronic c
Evidence of success
The practice is considered as good because it generated the following outputs:
• More pupils use the public transport now as compared to before implementing this measure.
• Morning traffic jams in the schools vicinity have been reduced (but not completely eliminated)
• New behaviors are being developed for an entire generation to use daily the public transport system
It has been difficult to involve a high number of staff from all the schools to provide a record of what bus routes are used by every pupil (in the first stage) as well as monthly statistics about attendance.
Everything went back to normal when pupils were issued an electronic card.
Potential for learning or transfer
This is not an innovative approach. The issue of providing pupils with free public transport has been implemented previously in a number of European cities. For Brasov, the catalyst has been Girona in Spain. We learned about their experience in the framework of the MMOVE (INTERREG IV C) project.
The practice we consider to be good because even if it requires considerable financial resources, it has a short decision making chain and it can be implemented relatively easy