institut pour la ville en mouvement

le journal de l'ivmretour actions

Getting around the city
for the 10 to 13 year-olds

A problem for “taxi-parents” as well as for
would-be independent youngsters


Results of surveys by the Institut pour la Ville en mouvement
Download Vincent Kaufmann's survey
Download François de Singly’s survey
Download the press file in PDF format



Mobility for the 10-13 year-olds, societal issues
A solution for parent-taxis!
Surveys by the Institut pour la ville en mouvement


Mobility for the 10-13 year-olds, societal issues
Between the ages of 10 and 13 you’re no longer quite a “child” but not yet a “grown-up”: you want to go out with your mates, go to a film, do sport,… but you don’t always have the means to get around. In France, you can’t ride a moped or scooter until you’re 14, or drive until you’re 18. So you are dependent on adults and particularly on your parents.

However, are parents always available and can they afford it? Fathers as much as mothers? Are they prepared to let their kids go out? If so, on what conditions?
On their own or with an adult? And how? Is the bicycle always a suitable way to get around?
Is public transport good enough? Is there a difference between the country and the town?
Even if transport services are available in and around towns, how well are they geared to “young people” in general, and to the 10-13s in particular?

All these are questions of obvious importance at a time when some people are talking about “curfews” for the under-13s. Quite apart from this societal issue, there are other questions:

Is mobility not a universal right, for the young as well?
Is it not part of the way they learn about life, not just the city?
How can young people who are not yet “grown-up” have access to the public space of the city?
Do they have to be accompanied – by a parent or other adult – in order to experience the city?



A solution for parent-taxis!

Launch of TRANSAPT on 3 November 2003
A safe and efficient transport-on-request service to solve the weekly parent-taxi hassle.
A minibus to ferry Apt Region children to their out-of-school activities on Wednesdays and Saturday afternoons, and on Tuesdays from 5 pm.


Too young to drive themselves around! Too vulnerable to cycle on their own! Too far to walk! And… virtually no public transport. In the countryside, tweenies have to rely on the parent-taxi and hope for the best!
These days, though, out-of-school activities mean travelling. Most of them rely on parental goodwill, and that’s only if the parents have their own transport and the time to ferry their children around.
The survey conducted in 2001 with a representative sample of 10-13 year-olds in the Apt Region (population 27,000) revealed that 90% of them depend entirely on their parents for non-school travel. The result is that most kids in this age group are stuck at home outside school hours, deprived of the independence that their urban equivalents take for granted.. This places a heavy burden on parents, both in expense and time.. Nevertheless, in the Apt Region, the parent-taxi rules.
The City on the Move Institute is about proposing solutions and experiments in different types of territory. In this case, it has gone into partnership with the “Mobility for all in the Apt Region” Association to launch a new kind of transport-on-request service in the Apt: Transapt.
The experiment involves setting up a modern, convenient and simple method of transport so that 10-13 year-olds in the Apt Region can travel to their out-of-school activities, without calling on their parents to provide a taxi service.. It is aimed at tweenage schoolkids in Apt and the surrounding communities, a population of 20,000 people. Eventually, the service may be extended to all the communities in the Apt Region..
The basic idea is “door-to-door on-request transport”, which will allow children to travel freely and safely, on their own. The driver’s job will be to ferry them door-to-door from home to their destination and vice versa.
Initially intended for the tween age group, the experiment may then be extended to other people who are unable to travel independently, particularly the elderly



Surveys by the Institut pour la ville en mouvement
They help us learn about the scope for mobility for the 10-13s and the specific problems they face. In particular, the national survey shows to what extent parents feel concerned by this issue

A national survey of a representative sample of 820 parents and an equivalent number of youngsters, conducted under the scientific direction of François de Singly, a sociologist specialising in the family (lecturer at the University of Paris Sorbonne), Director of the Research Centre on Social Links (Cerlis, CNRS-Université de Paris V), and author of Free together. Individualism in Social Life (Nathan, 2000). According to the survey, although 10-13 year-olds mostly travel on foot, they generally rely on lifts to get around on the Wednesday day-off. In two out of three cases, taxi driver is mother. Almost half of parents (47%) say they would like to do less driving around

Surveys on the travel methods of schoolchildren in the Paris region and in Pays d’Apt in the Vaucluse
For both these surveys, specifications were drawn up in partnership with the RATP (local railway service) for the towns of Val de Bièvre in the Paris region (Villejuif, Gentilly, Fresnes, l’Haÿ-les-Roses and Kremlin Bicêtre), in concert with the National Education service, Social Security and local councillors: several dozen schoolchildren in the 10-13 age range were asked to note down how they travelled and what they did over a three-day period: one ordinary weekday, the Wednesday day-off, and finally one weekend day (Saturday). This type of survey was adapted for the Pays d’Apt

While it is too early to identify solutions, several conclusions already emerge:
1) the wide range of travel types and needs amounts the 10-13s;
2) the level of parental commitment to children’s travel in the absence of appropriate public transport;
3) the degree of inequality between children, notably between boys and girls, but also between parents and within the couple (there are more “mother-taxis” than “father-taxis”);
4) finally, the need for greater involvement by the parties concerned (schools, public transport operators, local councillors…) to meet the requirements both of parents and of the 10-13s.

The aim of the Institut pour la ville en mouvement, with its partners, is not only to create awareness of this societal issue among the different parties concerned, but also to seek and put forward new solutions that can be tested in practice in different urban territorie



Results of surveys by the Institut pour la Ville en mouvement
Download Vincent Kaufmann's survey
Download François de Singly’s survey
Download the press file in PDF format