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Analysis on Transport Mode Choices of School Children in Colombo District, Sri Lanka


K. D. P. Damsara ,

University of Moratuwa, LK
About K. D. P.

Assistant in Graduate Research, Department of Civil Engineering

AMIE(SL), B.Sc. Eng. (Hons) (KDU)

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G. L. D. I. De Silva,

University of Moratuwa, LK
About G. L. D. I.

Senior Lecturer, Department of Civil Engineering


CMILT, B.Sc. Eng. (UoM), PhD (Calgary)

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R. M. N. T. Sirisoma

General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, LK
About R. M. N. T.

Senior Lecturer

MIE(SL), CMILT, MITE(US), B.Sc. Eng. (UoM), PhD (UoM)

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Traffic congestion on roads in peak hours has negatively impacted on a country’s economy as well as the well-being of its citizens. In Sri Lanka, a major portion of the traffic during morning and afternoon peak hours is due to school traffic. It has been identified that the daily travel distances of school children are exceeding the limitations imposed by the Ministry of Education on home to school distance. As a result, students choose different transport modes to reach their schools based on many factors, which has resulted in more vehicles on roads during peak hours. The study focuses on identifying the daily travel distances and the respective transport mode choice of the students in Colombo district. In addition, the factors that affect the school children to avoid public transport modes were also analysed. The study has been divided into three phases as factor identification, mode choice and demand distribution. A quantitative approach has been used in developing the methodology and the data collection was conducted through a questionnaire survey in 28 selected schools in the study area, with a total sample size of 2,875. Stratified sampling technique was used to collect data from the different types of schools defined by the Ministry of Education. The study recommends a procedure to develop an improved public transport system for school trips considering network connectivity and system planning to attract more students into public transport services. Results of this study can be used to identify the most influencing factors for selecting a particular transport mode for school trips by the students and to identify optimum routes for school buses in order to improve the public transportation services with respect to the identified issues.
How to Cite: Damsara, K.D.P., De Silva, G.L.D.I. and Sirisoma, R.M.N.T., 2021. Analysis on Transport Mode Choices of School Children in Colombo District, Sri Lanka. Engineer: Journal of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka, 54, pp.17–26. DOI:
Published on 03 Sep 2021.
Peer Reviewed


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