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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Role of Transportation in School Access: A Case Study of the Geffen Academy


This research project examines the impact of transportation on educational access. I examine the role that transportation plays in educational access, and how improving transportation can help to increase the socioeconomic and racial/ethnic diversity of private secondary schools in Los Angeles. To answer this research question, I use my client, the Geffen Academy, as a case study. The Geffen Academy is a private middle and high school located in Westwood, on the Westside of Los Angeles. The school has an affiliation with the University of California, Los Angeles. I use student data from the Geffen Academy to assess the demographic profile of enrolled students, and compare the spatial distribution of students to existing transportation infrastructure. I conduct a travel survey of students to understand travel behavior to school. Finally, I research peer schools to gain insights on how other schools approach transportation as it relates to student body diversity. From this research I find that a majority of enrolled students live within a few miles of the Geffen Academy, an area that is predominately white and higher-income. To increase access to the Geffen Academy, the school should focus on developing a carpool program to reduce the travel costs for families who live further away from the school’s campus.

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