The influence of transport on the life experiences and life chances of school goers : a case study of the Pietermaritzburg district.
Literature and case studies on transport and school goers lacks analysis of the influence of transport on school goer's experiences and opportunities. The research presented in this case study examines the extent to which transport - either private or public - determines school goers access to places, experiences and opportunities. The research was based on a study sample of about 1 474 school goers within a 45-kilometer radius of Pietermaritzburg. The study was sited at ten schools. School goers in grades one, four, seven and nine formed the study sample. Their ages ranged between 6 to 27 years. Drawing on qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection this case study focused on the activities within the school and home environments. Data collect focused on analysing the modes of travel to and from school as well as recreational and sport activities that school goers engage in. Findings and the review of literature in this case study show that the role of transport in the lives of school goers is linked to the daily activities they engage in. Accessing schooling, sporting, recreational and educational facilities increases school goer's experiences and opportunities. In rural and some remote urban settlements problems of accessibility and mobility limit and localise the experiences and opportunities for school goers. The challenge for transport development is to improve accessibility and affordability through the use of appropriate modes of travel.