Does Pupil Transportation Close the School Quality Gap?

Research Report

Does Pupil Transportation Close the School Quality Gap?

Abstract

Using uniquely detailed individual-level data on transportation provided to all New York City public school students, we examine the relationship between transportation use and school quality for elementary school students (K-5). We find that students who attend choice schools are more likely to use transportation (either school bus or free public transportation) and to attend better schools than their zoned schools. Among students who attend choice schools, those who use transportation attend significantly better schools than their peers attending nearby choice schools, with bus riders experiencing the largest gains in school quality. Further, transportation appears to play a particularly important role for black and Hispanic bus riders, who are 30-40 percentage points more likely to attend significantly better schools than their same-race peers who attend choice schools but do not use transportation. These results point to the importance of pupil transportation in allowing urban children to access good schools.

Research Area: 

Cross-Center Initiative

Cross-Center Initiative: 
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