School Transport Management

Encouraging Alternatives to Driving to School


TDM Encyclopedia

Victoria Transport Policy Institute


Updated 10 September 2014

This chapter describes School Transport Management programs, which encourage parents, students and staff to reduce automobile trips and use alternative modes when traveling to and from schools.



School Transport Management encourages parents, students and staff to reduce automobile trips and use alternative modes when traveling to and from schools. It includes:


·         Promotion campaigns, special events, and contests to encourage parents, students and staff to reduce automobile travel to schools (Marketing TDM).


·         Evaluating Nonmotorized Travel conditions, and Walking and Cycling Improvements to address any barriers or problems.


·         Bicycle Parking.


·         Pedestrian and bicycle Encouragement and safety education.


·         Organizing “Walking School Buses,” in which a parent walks a group of students to and from school.


·         Promoting Ridesharing by parents and staff.


·         Encouraging students and staff to use Public Transit to school.


·         Parking Management.


·         Encouraging parents who drive to park away from the school and walk with their children the last few blocks (this reduces congestion and parking problems at the school, and provides some exercise).


·         Traffic Calming, Speed Reductions and neighborhood traffic management around schools.


·         Produce a Multi-Modal Access Guide, which concisely describes how to reach the school by walking, cycling and transit.


·         Organizing field trips, off-campus activities and Special Events in ways that minimize driving (e.g., ridesharing, chartering buses, etc.).


·         Locating schools to maximize Accessibility. For example, preserve older schools and develop new schools within residential neighborhoods, where they can be reached by walking and cycling, rather than at urban fringe locations (Beaumont and Pianca 2000; EPA 2003; ITE 2013).


·         Surveying students, parents and staff to determine travel patterns, reasons for travel choices, barriers and potential opportunities for change (Data Collection and Surveys).


·         Creating communities designed for families with children (IIT 2007; Nelson 2007; OByrne 2006; Portland 2007).



School transport management can provide financial savings to schools and parents, help reduce parking and traffic problems, reduce pollution, and provide safety and health benefits.


Until a few decades ago most grade school students walked or bicycled to school. The portion of U.S. students who walked or biked to school has declined from 42% in 1969 to 13% in 2005 (McDonald 2005). Travel to school represents 10-15% of peak period motor vehicle trips in many urban areas. Chauffeuring children to school often results in two vehicle trips, one to the school and one returning home, or four additional trips per day.


School Transport Management programs can be cheaper than increasing parking capacity, dealing with local traffic congestion and providing school busing services. Busing is expensive, costing an average of $528 per student in the U.S. (, compared with $7,079 total spent on education ( This represents approximately 7.5% of total North American public school expenses, and as much as 12% in rural areas, and does not include other school transportation costs such as school parking facilities. Students, staff and parents often value having improved Transportation Choices.


School Transport Management programs that increase “active transportation” (walking and cycling) help children become more physically active and make exercise become a regular habit, which provides significant Health benefits. Children are far less physically active than in previous generations: A few decades ago children typically spent about three hours a day in outside physical activity, but now children average only about three hours of physical activity a week. Research by the U.S. Center for Disease Control indicate that increased physical activity during childhood is an important strategy for lifelong health, and that school and community programs play an important role in promoting physical activity (CDC 2000).


Walking and bicycling to school are also opportunities for children to explore their community, develop social skills, and experience increasing independence and responsibility as they become older (Hillman 1993; Adams and Hillman 1995; EC 2002). According to a survey of 6,369 elementary school children in Ontario, Canada, 72.2% prefer to travel to school by walking and cycling (O’Brien 2001).


School Transport Management programs must address barriers that discourage children for walking and cycling, including Traffic Safety, Traffic Speed Reductions, and Personal Security Concerns. These risks tend to decline as travel shifts to alternative modes and so more children and parents are walking and cycling near schools.


Many parents are afraid to allow children to walk independently, citing concerns about traffic risk (Parusel and Mclaren 2010), and fear of abduction or assault, although such risks are generally tiny. Some parents and schools are working to overcome what they perceive as excessive fear and restrictions on children walking (Hoffman 2009).


School location and neighborhood transport policies affect the safety of children walking and cycling to school, and therefore the portion of students who use these modes. Improved walking and cycling conditions around schools, and increased proximity between schools and residential areas increases the portion of active trips and reduces automobile travel (EPA 2003; Ewing, Forinash, and Schroeer 2005; ITE 2013; McDonald 2005; Jensen 2008). One study found that the portion of students walking to school is far higher in older (pre-1970) schools than in schools that were built recently because the newer schools tend to be located at the urban fringe (SCCCL 1999). Ewing, Forinash and Schroeer (2005) identify various education design and funding practices tend to favor suburban over urban communities, including emphasis on consolidation of smaller schools (usually with little or no consideration of increased vehicle travel costs), excessive minimum land requirements, and funding that favors new school construction over redevelopment of existing school buildings.


When children do live close to school, substantial numbers walk. However, current policies aimed at increasing walking to school focus on improving trip safety rather than changing distance to school. In 1969 45% of elementary school students lived less than a mile from their school; today fewer than 24% live within this distance (McDonald 2005).


School siting can affect both the travel mode and the distances that are driven for children to get to school. Some current public policies result in less accessible schools, including policies that favor new school construction over renovation of existing schools, excessive minimum acreage requirements for new schools (resulting in new schools being constructed outside of residential neighborhoods), and inflexible building codes and design standards (Beaumont and Pianca 2000). School Transport Management may include changing such policies to help preserve existing schools and favor development of new schools in residential neighborhoods.


Similarly, school policies affect transport system efficiency. Wilson, Wilson and Krizek (2007) found that children attending neighborhood schools have reduced travel distance and travel times, pollution emissions and bus fume exposure. They estimate that city-wide schools had six times fewer children walking, 2.5 times as many miles traveled, 2.5 times the system cost, and 2.4-2.6 times the amount of criteria air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. By providing bus service, the overall miles traveled (and resulting emissions) decreased 1.5 times compared to no bus service, however system costs were 16 percent higher for the neighborhood school and 9 percent more for the city-wide school when bus service was provided (not including other externality costs). Still, transportation costs at the neighborhood school were 2.5 times less expensive in both scenarios than the city-wide school. School choice and institutional form seem to have a large impact on travel behavior and merit further study.


Accessible Schools Provide Many Community Benefits – By Todd Litman

Accessibility refers to the costs and convenience of reaching goods, activities and destinations. A more accessible school is located to minimize travel distances and designed to accommodate a variety of travel modes, including walking and cycling. As a result, improved school accessibility reduces total automobile traffic.


Accessibility is affected not only by the design of a school itself, but also the design and management of sidewalks and roads in the neighborhoods around the school. Even relatively modest location and design factors can affect school accessibility, and therefore how students travel to and from school. For example, a major highway, rail line or wall that separates a school from a residential area can significantly reduce the number of students who walk and bicycle, forcing parents to drive their children across such barriers. A pedestrian shortcut between residential streets and the school can increase nonmotorized travel. School transport management programs, which include nonmotorized transportation improvements and encouragement, often reduce automobile trips by 10-30%.


Accessible schools provide many benefits, including time savings to students and parents, improved transportation options, reduced need for parents to chauffeur children to school, vehicle cost savings, reduced road and parking congestion, reduced busing costs to schools, reduced local air and noise pollution, reduced crash risk, and improved public health. Accessible schools often become important neighborhood centers, serving a variety of community needs, and stimulating community cohesion and social development. School accessibility is particularly important for parents who cannot drive or afford an automobile, who often find it difficult to participate in activities at schools that can only be reached by automobile. For this reason, more accessible schools can help increase parental involvement, and improve opportunities for disadvantaged populations.


Many students enjoy walking and cycling to school. Students who can walk and bicycle to and from school can more easily participate in after-hour sports and social activities. They have opportunities to explore the world and experience increasing independence and responsibility that are not possible if children are always chauffeured by automobile. Walking and cycling to school help children develop the habit of using these modes for transportation, which they may continue later in life. If students and parents walk and cycle on suitably designed sidewalks and roadways, they face minimal risks because their numbers provide sufficient “eyes on the street” (i.e., people watching what occurs on sidewalks and street crossing).


On the other hand, locating and designing schools primarily for motor vehicle access, for example along a busy highway at the urban fringe, can create a self-fulfilling prophesy of increased travel distances, reduced transportation options, and increased automobile dependency. This forces schools and communities to bear additional costs from increased vehicle travel, causes parents to spend more time driving, and prevents children from traveling under their own power. When only a small number of students walk or bicycle, or roadways are not properly designed to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists, those who do use nonmotorized modes face additional risks, because drivers are not as aware of their presence, and there are fewer people monitoring sidewalk activity.


Conventional planning and funding practices tend to ignore many of the benefits of increased accessibility and nonmotorized travel. For example, school planners consider the additional land costs of a more accessible location, but do not consider the time and vehicle cost savings that it would provide. This often results in school location and design decisions that increase total costs. Some current public policies result in less accessible schools, including policies that favor new school construction over renovation of existing schools, excessive minimum acreage requirements for new schools (resulting in new schools being constructed outside of residential neighborhoods), and inflexible building codes and design standards.


The additional financial costs required for more accessible school locations are often modest compared with the total long-term costs to students, parents, residents, schools and communities from increased vehicle traffic. If a more accessible school location results in just 10% of trips by students shifting from motorized (automobile and bus) to nonmotorized (walking and cycling) travel, the incremental financial costs will easily be repaid. However, these benefits are often overlooked in school planning economic analysis.



How it is Implemented

School Transport Management programs are usually initiated by school authorities, parent organizations, or students, often as a response to traffic and parking problems. They can be implemented as part of a neighborhood traffic management program. Multi-modal transportation can also be considered more when schools are sited and designed. State and provincial education agencies can create policies and programs that support alternative transport to schools.



Travel Impacts

Travel to school represents 10-15% of peak period motor vehicle trips in typical North American communities, although a smaller portion of total mileage since these trips tend to be shorter than other trip categories. There are currently few detailed studies of the effectiveness of School Transport Management programs, but anecdotal evidence indicates that total reductions in automobile trips of 10-20% or more are possible at a particular school, and much greater reductions are possible when schools are sited and designed for good accessibility. Neighborhood schools often have 70% or more students walk or cycle, while at urban fringe schools the majority of students arrive by car.


Table 1          Travel Impact Summary

Travel Impact



Reduces total traffic.


School trips are numerous, but relatively short.

Reduces peak period traffic.


Reduces peak-period vehicle trips.

Shifts peak to off-peak periods.



Shifts automobile travel to alternative modes.


Encourages use of alternative modes.

Improves access, reduces the need for travel.



Increased ridesharing.



Increased public transit.



Increased cycling.



Increased walking.



Increased Telework.



Reduced freight traffic.



Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to –3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts.



Benefits And Costs

School Transport Management program benefits include:

·         Reduced parking and congestion problems, and over the long run reducing road and parking facility costs.

·         Increased Transportation Choice and financial savings to families.

·         Safer and calmer streets and nearby neighborhoods.

·         Increased physical activity and healthy lifestyle habits, and reduced body weight (Pabayo, et al. 2010).

·         More Livable Communities.

·         Opportunities for children to explore the world and experience increasing independence and responsibility.

·         Opportunities for positive interactions between school and community members.



Costs include program costs, and any additional delays or problems for motorists from parking management and traffic calming.


Table 2          Benefit Summary




Congestion Reduction


Reduces peak-period vehicle trips, although largely on local roads.

Road & Parking Savings


Reduces total automobile travel and school parking costs.

Consumer Savings


Reduces vehicle costs.

Transport Choice


Increases travel options.

Road Safety


Reduces vehicle travel, and traffic around schools, and often includes road safety improvements.

Environmental Protection


Reduces vehicle travel, and nonmotorized travel habits.

Efficient Land Use


Reduces vehicle traffic. Can encourage more neighborhood schools.

Community Livability


Reduces vehicle traffic. Can encourage more neighborhood schools.

Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to –3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts.



Equity Impacts

School Transport Management programs offer services and encouragement to all students, although not all can use each service. School Transport Management programs tend to increase equity by devoting a more balanced share of resources to alternative modes, by reducing external costs caused by automobile trips, and by increasing Transportation Choices for lower-income and transportation disadvantaged students and parents. It can also reduce the stigma that may be associated with non-automotive travel for some students. Access to education can be considered a priority for Basic Accessibility.


Table 3          Equity Summary




Treats everybody equally.


Provides resources for alternative modes comparable to those for road and parking capacity for motorists.

Individuals bear the costs they impose.


May require subsidies but reduces external costs associated with driving.

Progressive with respect to income.


Increases affordable travel options.

Benefits transportation disadvantaged.


Increases travel choices for non-drivers.

Improves basic mobility.


Increases access to education.

Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to –3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts.




School Transport Management programs are appropriate in most geographic conditions (in urban areas and towns more travel will shift to nonmotorized modes, in suburban and rural areas there may be more carpooling). It is implemented primarily by regional and local governments, often with state/provincial funding.


Table 4          Application Summary





Large urban region.


Federal government.


High-density, urban.


State/provincial government.


Medium-density, urban/suburban.


Regional government.




Municipal/local government.


Low-density, rural.


Business Associations/TMA.


Commercial center.


Individual business.


Residential neighborhood.




Resort/recreation area.


Neighborhood association.






Ratings range from 0 (not appropriate) to 3 (very appropriate).




TDM Program



Relationships With Other TDM Strategies

School Transport Management programs may include the following TDM strategies:

·         Marketing and Promotion.

·         Pedestrian and Bicycle Planning.

·         Traffic Calming.

·         Ridesharing Programs and Transit Improvements.

·         Parking Management.

·         New Urbanism and Smart Growth.

·         Address Security Concerns



Funding for School Transport Management may increase as a result of Least-Cost Planning and Institutional Reforms, which allow alternative programs to receive money that is currently devoted to capacity expansion. It is similar to Campus Transportation Management.




School Transport Management programs are usually implemented by school officials or parent groups, often with the encouragement and support of local transportation agencies. Transit agencies may provide discounted fares and improved services. Planning agencies and developers may be involved in siting schools and street design that affects nonmotorized access. Municipal engineers can provide detailed maps for developing safe routes and technical support. School liaison officers can provide pedestrian and bicycle safety training.



Barriers To Implementation

Such programs often require coordinating efforts by a variety of organizations, including school administrators, parents, and student groups. Some school officials may see little benefit unless they perceive an immediate parking or traffic congestion problem. Program funding is often a limiting factor. Parental fears of traffic and strangers often encourage driving.



Wit and Humor

“The true voyage of discovery begins not with new places, but with new eyes.”

-Marcel Proust



Best Practices

Documents and guidebooks listed below provide recommendations for best practices. These include:


·         Involve school officials, parents, students and local transportation officials.


·         Implement Complete Streets Policies which recognize that roadways should serve diverse functions including through travel, recreational walking, socializing, vending, and nearby living.


·         Tailor programs to meet the needs of each specific school.


·         Survey students and parents to identify barriers to walking, cycling and transit.


·         Integrate programs into school curriculum if possible.


·         Implement Traffic safety improvements, Pedestrian and Bicycle Audits, Traffic calming and safety education.


·         Address Security Concerns.


·         Include both fun and educational components.


·         Implement policies that favor more accessible, pedestrian friendly school design and location, and encourage the preservation of older schools.



Examples and Case Studies

For more examples see National Center for Safe Routes to Schools (


Way To Go (

The Way to Go! program in British Columbia is a provincial program sponsored by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia and its brokers, that provides a variety of resources to help schools reduce automobile trips, and create safer pedestrian and bicycling environments around their schools. Way to Go! resources and support are available free to all BC schools. To date more than 1,200 schools across the province have used Way to Go! resources.


Way To Go Program


What It Is

Schools, particularly elementary and middle schools, are important places for students and parents to learn about making safe choices when they walk, cycle or drive. Providing school communities with the tools required to develop traffic safety awareness and to increase the opportunities for students to walk, cycle, rideshare or take transit to school, is a positive step toward making the school journey safer, healthier and more environmentally responsible.


Did You Know?

In B.C., almost half of our children travel to urban and suburban schools in a car. That's up from less than one in three ten years ago. Most of these trips are less than one kilometer long. This trend often reflects parents' concerns for their child's well-being. However, increased driving creates serious safety, environmental and health hazards:

·         Dangerous traffic congestion around schools when children are using the streets.

·         Unhealthy automobile emissions which contribute to the deterioration of air quality and climate change.

·         Automobile dependant children.


Positive Solutions

Way to Go! offers effective tools to help parents make safer alternative travel arrangements for students going to and from school. Our goal? To enable more children to walk, bike, rideshare or take public transit to school with their families, friends and neighbours.



To date, more than two-thirds of all B.C. Elementary and middle schools have requested Way to Go! resources. These schools are well on their way to addressing their school site traffic safety concerns. Students and their families are fitter, and better educated about traffic safety issues.


Fewer cars driving to these schools has resulted in a reduction in vehicle emissions and less traffic congestion, creating healthier, safer school sites. The program has led to happier, fitter, safer, confident children with stronger connections to their neighbourhoods, communities and each other.



Safe Routes to School (

The Bronx Safe Routes to School is a program managed by Transportation Alternatives and sponsored by school officials, local governments and the state Traffic Safety Committee. It coordinates efforts of parents, teachers and principals and traffic engineers to identify and fix street conditions dangerous to children walking and cycling to school. Since October 1997 the program has helped create safe walking corridors at 31 elementary schools. Safe Routes to School is so popular that schools are vying to participate. To be selected for the program, parents and principals must be actively concerned about dangerous walking conditions and a high number of pedestrian injuries must be documented. Several hundred of travel surveys are collected at the participating schools. Geographic Information System mapping are used to identify problems areas and develop safe walking routes. The State DOT installed speed humps, elevated crosswalks, sidewalk extensions and other measures where needed.



Christchurch, New Zealand Walk A Child To School Day

Forty-four primary schools took part in Christchurch City Council's annual “Walk a Child to School Day” (WCSD) on 1 March 2000. The program was a success with many schools reporting over three-quarters of their children walking to school on the day. Arising from concerns over child health in general and child road safety in particular, WCSD was held to encourage safe and healthy travel to school, as well as the added benefit of saving transport energy. Most schools noted quieter streets, happy children, and seeing many parents.


The numbers of children walking to school increased from 35% beforehand to 73% on WCSD - exactly the same as 1999. The numbers of children coming to school by motor vehicle decreased from 55% before to 22% on WCSD. One school had virtually the whole school turned out to walk to school in four walking school buses that were organized. Another had a breakfast at school for parents and children. A group of parents at one school have organized an ongoing Walking School Bus as a result of the event. 


Sports people from the Canterbury Crusaders, the Canterbury Rams basketball team, New Zealand women's cricketer Cathy Campbell walked with the children. Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore and Green MP Rod Donald acted as guest 'drivers' for walking school buses. To follow up WCSD, a Walking School Bus kit has been developed for schools. The kit includes hats, drink bottles, fridge magnets, contact cards, certificates, stickers and travel cards.



State Funding For Traffic Safety Near Schools (

The Washington Transportation Commission approved grant funding packages for five new programs created by the Legislature, including a Traffic SafetyNear Schools Program. The purpose of this program is to fund capital projects for traffic and pedestrian safety improvements near schools. Eligible projects include sidewalks and walkways, school signing and signals, improved pedestrian crossings, turning lanes, school bus pullouts, and roadway channelization and signalization.



MOST (Mobility Management Strategies) (

MOST is a European partnerships to encourage sustainable transportation, with special programs dealing with travel related to tourism, medical services, education and special events. It's main aim is to develop and evaluate Mobility Management (MM) strategies. It is a combined research and demonstration project. MOST is sponsoring a number of case studies and examples of school mobility management.



Active and Safe Routes to Schools (

Greenest City's Active and Safe Routes to School program is coordinated by Go for Green, a national not-for-profit program with a mandate to promote active transportation and environmental restoration, is currently assisting 30 pilot projects across the country.


Parents are increasingly concerned for their children's safety because of heavy traffic and fear of bullies or abduction. Many respond by driving their children. Schools grapple with congestion outside their schools, residents who don't want their driveways blocked, children being hit because they can't be seen behind vehicles, and idling creating unnecessary pollution. Active modes, like walking, are cost efficient and solve many of these problems.


Many schools bus in students. Busing is expensive and across Canada accounted for 5% of total school board operating expenses in 1993. Rural school boards can have as much as 12% of their operating budget eaten up by school transportation. Walking School Buses can provide a sustainable alternative to busing for trips up to 1.5 km.



Contra Costa SchoolPool Program (

The Contra Costa SchoolPool Program provides carpool ridematching for parents transporting their children to and from school to approximately 150 public and private kindergarten through twelfth grade schools in Contra Costa County. Parents unable to find a carpool partner are offered 20 free bus tickets for their children to take the bus. School staff work with the transit agencies to develop and produce updated bus schedules which explain bus routes serving each school, detailed by district. A route map is included with time schedules to provide parents with additional information to encourage transit use. Ridematching forms are sent directly to schools and distributed in Fall registration packets.


In 2002, 321 ridematch requests were received. Of those who could be reached via telephone and mail surveys, 55% said that they formed carpools with other parents. Using this average, it is estimated that of the 321 participants, 177 parents formed carpools with others. The reduced trips are based on the number of non-siblings in the carpools. Carpools averaged 1.06 non-sibling passengers per vehicle (based on information given by parents). Taking the 177 parent drivers, multiplying by the 1.06 passenger rate, this equals 188 reduced trip segments. Since parents must drive back and forth in the mornings, and again in the afternoons to pick up their children, there are two round trips taken (four one-way trip segments total). Allowing for 25% of the trips to be drop-offs on the way to work or for children to walk, this leaves three one-way trips being saved for each non-sibling. With 188 non-siblings, this equals 564 one-way trips reduced. A follow-up phone survey was also conducted of participants from the 2001 SchoolPool program indicated that 42% continued to carpool. Generally when carpools are formed in Kindergarten, they continue through elementary school, indicting that the program can have long-term benefits.


Of the 559 parents who received bus tickets, CC CAN was able to contact 163. Of those, 98% said that they continued to have their children ride the bus through the year, which represents 548 students who continued to take the bus. Since there are two round-trips needed to get children to and from school, and assuming that one of those four segments is a drop-off or walk home, this totals 3 reduced trips per student per day. Therefore 548 X 3 = 1,644 reduced trips.



Students Walked 7423 km to School (

Students and staff of Maurice Cody Public School in Toronto, Canada have walked 7,423 kilometres since October 6, 1999, by walking to school. Their Cross Canada Challenge took them from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Vancouver, British Columbia. This challenge is a continuation of the school's four year association with Greenest City's Active and Safe Routes to School program and was inspired by Greenest City's Walk to School Day event, which takes place every year on the first Wednesday of October. Schools are then encouraged to make the first Wednesday of every month Walk to School Day.


Every Wednesday is "Walking Wednesday." The idea is to promote walking to school as a safe, healthy alternative to driving. The traffic congestion around the school at drop off and pick up time each day creates unsafe conditions for all students and jeopardizes air quality in the school area. This has led the school to take a closer look at ways to promote walking to school. A successful Walking School Bus program was launched in 1997 on Balliol Street, five blocks from the school, but it was difficult to convince folks on other streets to follow suit. The Walking Wednesday program has led to greater awareness of the issues around school transportation and increased the number of families walking regularly. Carol Anne Coulter, one of the organizing parents at Maurice Cody, says: "Cody students who choose active ways to get to school are learning to make healthy lifestyle choices for themselves and for the environment".


Maurice Cody School Principal, Ron Markwell comments, "my participation in Walking Wednesdays has helped me to reconnect with my immediate environment as I experienced the change of seasons walking to school through the Don Valley each Wednesday morning." Principal Markwell's personal walk to school record for this year is one hundred and eighty one kilometres! The school's Vice-Principal, Wendy Keene, cycled to school on Walking Wednesdays for a total of two hundred and seventy two kilometres travelled.


The Pembina Institute has calculated if all the families that live within a 30-minute walk of Maurice Cody Public School were to switch from driving to walking, they could prevent more than 26,500 kg of GHG emissions from entering the atmosphere each year! The school's Cross Canada Challenge has avoided the release of 2041 kg of carbon dioxide. (


Walking to school may not seem unusual, but the Canadian Institute of Child Health reports that "in Canada, neighbourhood schools report more than 50% of the student body are frequently chauffeured to school by parents." Approximately two-thirds of today's children are not physically active enough to lay a solid foundation for future good health and childhood obesity is on the rise across Canada. The walk to and from school would provide the minimum daily requirement for children of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity.


Greenest City’s Active and Safe Routes to School Program has been in place since 1996 and has spread from Toronto to other parts of the Province. Greenest City's resources and support are available free to schools and communities across Ontario. More than 100 schools have implemented some portion of the program, and 250 schools participated in last year's Walk to School Day. Greenest City works with groups in other countries to promote International Walk to School Day each October. Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa have participated. Check out the IWSD Web site for further information at


We Walk to School Because . . .

"We can stop and say hello to a kitty or a pup and sing along with the birds." JK, student, Maurice Cody.



Walking To School Can Make Children Brighter And More Alert (DFES 1999)

A survey conducted by the U.K. Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions indicates that teachers believe walking to school, instead of being driven, helps children stay fit and healthy. The survey reveals that nine in 10 teachers consider that the walk to school actually makes children brighter, more alert and ready for the first class of the day.


One hundred primary school teachers across England and Wales were quizzed for the survey as part of the government's ongoing campaign to promote the benefits of walking to school safely among parents, children, teachers and local organizations.


More than eight in 10 teachers surveyed were strongly in favor of Walk to School Week, with 79 percent of them currently encouraging their own children to walk to school. These teachers believe that the advantages enjoyed by children who walk to school are not only related to health but also to education and general awareness:

* 87 percent of teachers questioned believe that walking to school gives children a chance to wake up fully before they reach the classroom.

* 60 percent believe that walking to school enables children to settle down once in the classroom.

* 90 percent believe that walking to school enables children to become more aware of their local environment.

* 93 percent believe that walking to school makes children more aware of road-safety issues.



Marin County Safe Routes to School (

The Safe Routes to School Program in Marin County, California works to promote walking and biking to school. Using a multipronged approach, the program identifies and creates safe routes to schools and invites community wide involvement. By its second year, the program was serving 4,665 students in 15 schools. Participating public schools reported an increase in school trips made by walking (64%), biking (114%), and carpooling (91%) and a decrease in trips by private vehicles carrying only one student (39%). The program includes the following activities:


Mapping Safe Routes to School

·         Town-wide programs to identify and create safe routes for walking and cycling to each school.

·         Volunteers walk the routes and report findings.

·         Finding pooled on a master map.

·         Solutions to make walking and cycling safer are designed (sidewalks, improved signage and crossings, pedestrian bridge, extension of bike trail, bike lanes, etc.)

·         Funds for needed infrastructure changes are solicited and obtained.


Walk and Bike to School Days

·         All schools participate in “International Walk To School Day” and many have monthly or weekly “Walk To School Days.”

·         Many schools provide drinks and treats to children who walk and bike to school.

·         Staging areas are established where students who live too far away can be dropped off and then walk the rest of the way to school.

·         Some schools encourage students to ride buses rather than travel by private automobile.


Frequent Rider Miles Contest

·         Children are issued tally cards with 20 possible points per card.

·         Children earn two points for walking or cycling, and one point for taking the bus or carpooling.

·         At 20 points, children receive a small prize and can enter a raffle for larger prizes.


Classroom Education

·         Safety training is provided through videos, discussions, presentations and bike rodeos.

·         A toolkit has been developed by the program with curriculum guidelines for teaching walking and cycling safety.

·         Age-appropriate lessons are available dealing with transportation choices and the environment, physical activity for health, and community involvement issues.

·         In one middle school, children produce a video, “the role bicycles play in society.”


Walking School Buses and Bike Trains

·         Organized groups of children walk or cycle together. This allows parents to share the responsibility of supervising children’s trips, and provide a group of friends to travel with.

·         Geographic mapping systems identify the homes of participating children to facilitate the formation of these groups.


Newsletters and Promotions

·         Volunteer team leaders at each school are supplied with template flyers, fact sheets, posters and newsletters.

·         The program uses email lists and a website to distribute information.

·         Local newspapers run feature articles about the program.

·         An annual countywide forum is held to welcome new schools and allow volunteers at different schools to meet and talk.



·         Program staff participate in state, national and international conferences.



Safe Routes To Schools (

California’s “Safe Routes to Schools” bill was passed in 1999. It includes the following:

·         Traffic calming around schools.

·         Encouragement – provides an opportunity for community organizations to get involved, and includes education materials targeting students and parents.

·         Enforcement – relies on cooperation with local police to increase enforcement of traffic laws around schools, and provide public education.

·         Funding – reserves one-third of the state’s federal safety funding to finance traffic calming, crosswalks, sidewalks, bikelanes and paths around California schools.


“Safe Routes to Schools” involves a construction program to improve and enhance the safety of pedestrian and bicycle facilities. Since the passage of this bill, the program has funded 185 school improvements at a total of $52 million.



Preserving Older, Accessible Schools

Beaumont and Pianca (2000) describes several examples of public policy reforms to favor more accessible schools, and case studies of communities that have preserved older, more accessible schools rather than building less accessible new schools at the urban fringe:


·         In Durham, N.C., when state standards threatened a historic elementary school, neighborhood residents mounted a campaign that resulted in the school being saved and renovated. The campaign included the production of a detailed study to refute assertions that renovating the school would be infeasible.


·         In Rice Lake, WI, a “Save Our Schools” committee has worked to preserve three historic elementary schools. They point out that if the schools are closed, children who currently walk to school would need to be bused.


·         In Sharlevoix, MI, residents sued the school district over plans to build a new high school on 74 acres of prime farmland three miles out of town. They are encouraging the district to renovate an in-town school instead.


·         The state of Maryland has eliminated minimum acreage requirements for new schools, leaving site decisions to local communities. The state now gives preference to reinvestment in existing schools over new school construction that may stimulate sprawl.


·         In the state of Maine, the state planning office and the board of education have published a joint brochure urging school districts to avoid sprawl, renovate existing, more accessible schools, and promote walking to school.


·         The state of New Jersey has adopted a special Rehabilitation Code that makes it easier and less expensive to rehabilitate historic buildings, such as neighborhood schools.



Kids Kab (PPS, 1997)

A challenge facing many parents is transporting children conveniently and safely. Kids Kab is a privately operated transit service for children, designed specifically to meet the needs of busy working families. It offers individually customized door-to-door transportation to and from school, after-school activities, doctor appointments, music lessons, and weekend social and sports events. The service was created by Pamela Henderson, a working mother of three children in Birmingham, Michigan. From its beginning in 1991, with three vans and manual dispatching, the business has expanded into a far-reaching network of franchises in 12 states that collectively carry 50,000 riders a month.


The service is offered by subscription and on a single-ride basis. In some communities, Kids Kab carries students to and from classes at independent schools that lack regular school bus service. Peak demand occurs after school, with vans carrying children to sports activities, music and dance lessons, and dentist appointments. Weekends are also periods of high demand for transportation to sports events, birthday parties, and dances. Because safety and security are uppermost in parents’ minds, children are issued photo identification cards that become their bus admission ticket. Children are not left unattended; they must be met at the door by a parent or other pre-approved person. Drivers are carefully screened with an emphasis on hiring parents, school bus drivers and retired neighbors living in the service area.



Adolescent Mobility Health Consortium ( )

New Zealand researchers have introduced the concept of ‘adolescent mobility health’ which bridges health, safety and sustainable mobility issues by creating communities where young people drive less and rely more on active and public transport. Slide show at,%20Ward_Adolescent%20mobility%20health.pdf.


Youth are a critical population to target mobility health strategies for many reasons:


The goal of the Adolescent Mobility Health Consortium (AMHC) is to encourage, develop and support research and interventions that facilitate voluntary adolescent transportation modal shift from motor vehicles to active and public transport using transportation demand management (TDM) strategies. TDM is potentially more beneficial to adolescents than traditional road safety efforts aimed at making a costly, risky and unhealthy activity (driving) marginally safer.  These efforts aim to promote the consideration and adoption of alternatives to the cultural and generational expectations of ubiquitous driving in private automobiles. It is about the freedom for youth to choose their mobility options with full knowledge of the benefits and drawbacks of each alternative.



Smart Growth Schools Report Card (

The Smart Growth Schools Report Card identifies eleven performance-based criteria for rating how well school planning reflect smart growth principles, and identifies practical strategies for improving these ratings. These criteria include:

  1. Full cost analysis during school planning that takes into account future costs, including transportation costs (busing and parental chauffeuring), energy consumption, utilities and environmental costs.
  2. Holistic planning, which includes various stakeholders and objectives.
  3. Community buy-in, which includes meaningful community input before key decisions are made.
  4. Elimination of design constraints, such as rigid minimum acreage requirements, minimum parking requirements and maximum cost per square foot.
  5. Neighborhood-oriented schools, so most students can reach it safely without requiring car or bus travel?
  6. Prominent sites (e.g., terminated vista or on a slightly higher elevation than surrounding properties) to communicate the importance that schools have in the community?
  7. Shared use, so schools are sited and designed to share facilities with other community uses such as a gyms, parks, ballfields, public meeting spaces, daycares, libraries, theaters, health clinics, or computer labs.
  8. Flexibility. Schools can be designed to allow growth (independent additional wings, floors or structures) or contracting (adaptively reused if no longer used for school purposes), as neighborhoods change over time?
  9. Connected learning environment, means that schools connect to outside learning activities through interaction with local businesses and community service programs.
  10. Community pride, means that schools are designed to generate community pride measured by a Visual Preference Survey.
  11. High-performance buildings, means that schools are constructed and renovated to meet high standards for energy and water efficiency, indoor air quality, daylighting, and earth-friendly construction techniques.  



Family-Friendly Cities (

This series of columns explores transportation and land use policies that help create child-friendly cities, including ample affordable housing units appropriately sized for families, zoning laws that allow courtyard and other housing types, public schools in our downtown corridors, streets that provide a buffer between unsteady toddlers and speeding cars, buses that accommodate strollers, and communal spaces that do double duty for parents and their kids.


Eliminating Minimum School Acreage Requirements (

Decisions on where schools are built and how much land they occupy are gradually beginning to reflect New Urbanism’s belief in the importance of physically fitting the schools into their communities.


Since 2003, three states — Rhode Island, Maine, and South Carolina — have eliminated minimum acreage requirements for new schools. The organization that had long been the chief proponent of acreage standards — the Council of Educational Facility Planners International, or CEFPI — has backed away from such standards. Some of the credit for this progress belongs to the Smart Growth Program of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which provided a study grant that led CEFPI to remove acreage guidelines from the 2004 edition of its influential Guide for Planning Educational Facilities. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has also played a role, drawing attention to school siting in its booklet “Why Johnny Can’t Walk to School,” first published in 2000.


In South Carolina, Governor Mark Sanford, a Republican, persuaded the legislature to end acreage requirements, which he argued were making students too dependent on vehicular transportation and less apt to walk to school. “Creating more neighborhood schools … makes sense from a learning standpoint, an economic standpoint, and it makes sense if you want to have schools that are part of a community’s fabric as opposed to part of its sprawl,” Sanford has said.


EPA hopes this spring to issue a call for proposals for a state-by-state approach to educating key decisionmakers about school siting standards. The initiative is seen as essential because many school systems continue building on oversized parcels, in locations that are hard to reach on foot — worsening the epidemic of childhood obesity and straining the finances of communities. Arkansas and Wyoming are two states that adopted acreage standards in the past few years after previously leaving such decisions to local people. In all, approximately 27 states have guidelines or standards saying how much land a school should have, EPA policy analyst Tim Torma says.


Usually the standards are based on the grade levels served — high schools require more land than elementary schools — and on the school’s enrollment. In 2004, the Arkansas Department of Education recommended the following minimum site sizes:

• Elementary school: 10 acres plus 1 acre per 100 students.

• Middle school: 20 acres plus 1 acre per 100 students.

• High school: 35 acres plus 1 acre per 100 students.


Although Arkansas’s policy statement acknowledged that site size deviations “may be required because of extenuating circumstances,” it also offered this advice: “Where possible, larger site sizes or additional acreage should be strongly considered to allow adequate land for development, storm water detention, building expansion, topography features, subsurface sanitary sewage systems, etc.”



Trail Blazers (

The Pedestrians Association has compiled information on walking school bus and School Transport Management programs in communities throughout UK in their publication, Trail Blazers! They cite successful programs in Buckinghamshire, Kent, Knowsley, Leeds, Maidenhead, Poole, Southend, Staffordshire, Stoke on Trent, Swale, Swansea, and Vale of Glamorgan. For each of these communities they describe how the program was established, how it operates, costs (for staff time, vests and trolleys for carrying bags), evaluation, plans for expansion, and contact information.


Don't Destroy Neighborhoods To Educate Them: Well Intentioned But Off-Target Planning Regulations Are Neglecting To Create The Community-Centered Schools The Public Is Demanding.

By Constance E. Beaumont

Jan 16, 2002, Planetizen (


It startled me when I first heard New Urbanists point out that it's virtually against the law in many parts of this country to build places that people love. But upon further reflection, I concluded they were right. Paris. Charleston. Annapolis. San Francisco. Santa Barbara.


These and other beautiful cities treasured for their walkable, intimate streets, their vibrant downtowns and distinguished architecture would all flunk the parking, building setback, and other requirements in many zoning laws. Fortunately, local planners all over America are reviewing their ordinances with a view to getting rid of provisions that stand in the way of building - or preserving - places that people love.


The same kind of review should occur with respect to the rules governing the construction of public schools. Thanks to a combination of national guidelines, state policies, and advice handed out by private consultants, it is often difficult to build - or retain - schools that people love. Small schools. Schools that kids can walk to. Schools that tie neighborhoods together. Well-designed schools that inspire community pride. Such desirable assets are often inadvertently ruled out by widely applied school facility standards.


Many modern schools have the intimacy and architectural distinction of a Wal-Mart. They are plain, nondescript boxes surrounded by huge parking lots. Their remote locations, large size and asphalt moats prevent them from being the community-centered schools that so many educators recommend today. Children can't walk to school. Neither can parents or citizens who do volunteer work in our schools.


This is no accident. Misguided policies and practices make it happen. One problem is the acreage standards applied to many new schools. These typically call for one acre of land for every 100 students plus 10 acres for an elementary school, 20 acres for a middle school, and 30 acres for a high school. In too many cases, school districts must often make one of two bad choices in order to satisfy these standards:


Either find a large open space - often a working farm - and then build a "sprawl school" that's physically removed from the community it serves; or destroy perfectly good homes near the school to meet the acreage standards.


In Two Rivers, Wis., the school district recently purchased almost 80 acres of farmland for a new, middle-of-nowhere school while choosing to abandon an in-town school that might have been rehabilitated to meet 21st-century standards - or replaced with a well-designed new school to which students could have walked. In Mansfield, Ohio, the school district met the state's acreage standards by bulldozing 60 homes in an attractive neighborhood.


The acreage standards are intended to ensure that students have plenty of ball fields for sports. But the school siting decisions necessary to achieve this laudable goal virtually rule out the possibility of walking or biking to school - or to anywhere else after school! As a teen-ager in Northern Virginia lamented: "If students do any sort of after-school activity, they must drive themselves home, bum rides, or wait to be picked up. The inconvenience on parents is immense." Fewer than one in eight students walks or bikes to school today.


Policies restricting the amount of money that school districts may invest in the renovation of older schools are another big problem. Under one widely used rule-of-thumb, if the cost of renovating a school exceeds two-thirds of the cost of building a new one, the school district is required to build new if it wants state funding assistance. The problem with this rule is that it doesn't consider hidden costs paid by state or local governments. For example, the costs of water and sewer line extensions, student transportation, and road work necessary to serve a new school in an outlying area may be ignored. The rule also trivializes long-standing relationships between historic schools and neighborhoods they've anchored for generations.


A third major problem is the disconnect between land-use planning and school facility planning. In many areas, these types of planning occur in separate silos. It is not uncommon for a town to envision permanent protection for nearby farmland while the school district plans to build new schools, which inevitably attract new residential development, on the same land. Thus land-use and school facility planning work at cross purposes.


A few (though not enough) states are starting to tackle these problems.


Maryland, for example, has consciously decided not to impose sprawl-promoting acreage standards. The state also works to maintain prior public investments in schools by favoring maintenance and renovation over the construction of new schools outside "smart growth" areas.


In Maine, the State Planning Office and Department of Education have teamed up to encourage local planning departments and school districts to work together. In a well-illustrated, widely distributed brochure on the "ABC's" of school site selection, the two agencies recommend locating schools in places that allow kids to walk to school and encourage school districts to renovate existing schools whenever possible.


In New Jersey and California, school districts must now share their master plans for school construction projects with local government officials. This doesn't guarantee cooperative planning, but it does enhance the prospects for better communication.


Across the country, parents and teachers are clamoring for smaller, more community-centered schools on the grounds that they are better for students and better for learning. It's time for the country as a whole to consider how well-intentioned school facility policies are undermining that goal. Young people should have the option of walking to school. And you shouldn't have to destroy a neighborhood to educate it.


Constance E. Beaumont is Director for State and Local Policy of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The National Trust's analysis of public policies affecting historic schools and "school sprawl" can be found in the Trust's report, Why Johnny Can't Walk to School, available at (



References And Resources For More Information


John Adams and Mayer Hillman (1995), “Children’s Freedom and Safety,” Beyond the Car: Essays in Auto Culture, Steel Rail Publishing (Toronto), pp. 141-151.


Active and Safe Routes to School ( is a Canada-wide program operated by Green Communities Canada to encourage the use of active modes of transportation to and from school.


Bruce Appleyard (2005), Livable Streets For Children: How Safe Routes To School Programs Can Improve Street And Community Livability For Children, NCBW Forum Article 3-7-05, National Bicycling and Walking Center (; at


Constance Beaumont and Elizabeth Pianca (2000), Historic Neighborhood Schools in the Age of Sprawl- Why Johnny Can't Walk to School, National Trust for Historic Preservation (


Ariel Bierbaum, Jeffrey Vincent and Deborah McKoy (2010), “Linking Transit-Oriented Development, Families and Schools,” Community Investments, Vol. 22 No. 2: Summer, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (; at Also see, “Putting Schools On The Map,” Transportation Research Record 2357, Transportation Research Board (, pp. 77-85; at


Michelle S. Birdsall (2008), “International Safe Routes To School Programs: Examining A Charity’s Efforts Across The United Kingdom,” ITE Journal, Vol. 78, No. 9 (, pp. 43-45.


Sally Cairns, et al (2004), Smarter Choices - Changing the Way We Travel, UK Department for Transport ( This comprehensive study provides detailed evaluation of the potential travel impacts and costs of various mobility management strategies, including case studies of school transport management programs.


CDE (2009), California Department of Education School Site Selection and Approval Guide, California Department of Education (; at


CEFPI (2005), Schools for Successful Communities: An Element of Smart Growth, Council of Educational Facility Planners International ( and the US Environmental Protection Agency (; at


Children On the Move ( is a website where participants can share and develop ideas and materials on matters involving children and the ways in which they can and could move around in their communities in their daily lives.


CTOD and CC&S (2012), TOD 205 - Families and Transit-Oriented Development: Creating Complete Communities for All, Center for Transit-Oriented Development ( and the Center for Cities & Schools (; at


CTR (2006), Tool Box to Address Safety on School Grounds and Public Streets Adjacent to Elementary and Middle Schools in Iowa, Center for Transportation Research and Education, Iowa State University, Iowa Department of Transportation; at


Michael J. Cynecki and Russell G. Brownlee (2007), “ITE Technical Committee TENC-105-01: School Site Planning, Design and Transportation,” ITE Journal (, Vol. 77, No. 9, Sept. 2007, pp. 28-37; at


DFID (2010), Children, Transport and Mobility in Sub-Saharan Africa: Developing a Child-Centred Evidence Base to Improve Policy and Change Thinking Across Africa, Department of International Development (


DfT (2006) Information for Parents, Teachers and Schools, (, by the U.K. Department for Transport, provides a wide range of information on actions on promoting safe, healthy and sustainable travel to school.


DfT (2007), Making Personal Travel Planning Work: Research Report, Department for Transport (; at


Dover, Kohl & Partners and Chael, Cooper & Associates (2006), Design Guidelines for Pedestrian-Friendly Neighbourhood Schools, City of Raleigh (; at,_Handbooks_and_Manuals/School_Design_Guidelines.pdf.


EPA (2003), Travel and Environmental Implications of School Siting, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (; at


Reid Ewing, Christopher V. Forinash, and William Schroeer (2005), “Neighborhood Schools and Sidewalk Connections: What Are The Impacts On Travel Mode Choice and Vehicle Emissions,” TR News, 237, Transportation Research Board (, March-April, 2005, pp. 4-10.


Family-Friendly Cities ( explores transportation and land use development policies that can help create more child-friendly cities.


FHWA (2008), A Resident's Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities, Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety; FHWA-SA-07-016 (; at


Lawrence Frank, Sarah Kavage and Todd Litman (2006), Promoting Public Health Through Smart Growth: Building Healthier Communities Through Transportation And Land Use Policies, Smart Growth BC (; at


Richard Gilbert and Catherine O’Brien (2005), Child- And Youth-Friendly Land-Use And Transport Planning Guidelines, Centre for Sustainable Transportation (; at


Sue Granville, Andra Laird, Mike Barber and Fiona Rait (2002), Why Do Parents Drive Their Children To School?, Scottish Executive Central Research Unit (; at


Mayer Hillman (1993), Children, Transport and the Quality of Life, Policy Studies Institute ( and Mayer Hillman Website (; at


Jan Hoffman (2009), “Why Can’t She Walk To School” New York Times, (, 12 September 2009; at


IIT (2007), CityTalent: Keeping Young Professionals (and their kids) in Cities, CEOs for Cities (; at


International Walk To School Day ( and promote walking to school. Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa have schools registered for this event.


Hillary N. Isebrands and Shauna L. Hallmark (2007), “School Zone Safety and Operational Problems at Existing Elementary Schools,” ITE Journal, Vol. 77, No. 3 (, March 2007, pp. 26-31; at


ITE (2013), School Site Planning, Design, and Transportation, ITE Technical Committee TENC-105-01, Institute of Transportation Engineers (


ITE (2013), Safe Routes To Schools Briefing Sheets, Institute of Transportation Engineers (; at


Søren Underlien Jensen (2008), “How To Obtain A Healthy Journey to School,” Transportation Research A, Vol. 42, Is. 3 (, March 2008, pp. 475-486.


Kids On The Move ( is a research program to develop guidelines for transportation and land-use policies that meet the needs of children and youth, and in doing so meet the needs of all people.


Philip Langdon (2007), “Move Toward Neighborhood-Scale Schools Slowly Gains Momentum,” New Urban News, April/May 2007 (


Brian D. Lee and Jared A. Cunningham (2006), “Why Not Walk to School Today?” ArcUser Online (


Todd Litman (2013), “Freedom From Automobile Dependency: How Youths Benefit from Better Living through Multi-Modalism”, presented at the 2nd Annual AMHC Symposium – “Moving Forward: Decreasing Car Use Among Teenagers,” (; video at


Living Streets (, formerly called the Pedestrians Association, campaigns on all aspects of pedestrian welfare. It has produced an interactive CD-Rom based on their successful Walk to School pack that is particularly suitable for junior age children. It features games, puzzles and fun-based learning about school transport. Background information for teachers and parents is also included.


Roger L. Mackett (2013), “Children’s Travel Behaviour And Its Health Implications,” Transport Policy, Vol. 26, pp. 66-72; at


Lauren Marchetti, Katy Jones and Nancy Pullen-Seufert (2007), “Safe Routes to School: Roles and Resources for Transportation Professionals,” ITE Journal (, Vol. 77, No. 9, September, pp. 16-21.


Sarah Levin Martin, Nancy Pullen-Seufert and Refilwe Moeti (2007), “Safe Routes to School: Bringing Together Transportation and Public Health,” ITE Journal (, Vol. 77, No. 9, Sept. 2007, pp. 38-41.


Catherine McAllister (2008), “Child Friendly Cities and Land Use Planning: Implications for Children’s Health,” Environments: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies; Special Issue: Planning for Health Through the Built Environment, Vol. 35, No. 3, pp. 45-61; at


Noreen C. McDonald (2005), Children’s Travel: Patterns and Influences, dissertation, University of California Transportation Center (; at


Noreen McDonald, Austin Brown, Lauren Marchetti and Margo Pedroso (2011), “U.S. School Travel 2009: An Assessment of Trends,” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol. 41, No. 2, pp.146-151; abstract at


Nancy McGuckin (2013), Travel to School in California: Findings from the California - National Household Travel Survey, Active Living Research, Bikes Belong Foundation and The Safe Routes to School National Partnership (; at


Tracy E. McMillan (2007), “The Relative Influence Of Urban Form On A Child’s Travel Mode To School,” Transportation Research A, Vol. 41, No. 1 (, Jan. 2007, pp. 69-79.


National Center for Safe Routes to Schools ( is a U.S. federally funded center which provides information on how to start and sustain a Safe Routes to School program, case studies of successful programs, and other resources for training and technical assistance.


NCEF, National Clearninghouse for Educational Facilities Website (, provides information on the development of safe and healthy schools, including resources on transportation and parking management strategies.


NCSRS (2009), School Bicycling and Walking Policies, National Centre for Safe Routes to Schools (; at  


NCSRS (2011), Safe Routes to School:  Helping Communities Save Lives and Dollars, National Centre for Safe Routes to Schools (; at  


Alyse Nelson (2007), Courtyards Of Copenhagen: How The Danes Make Urban Living Family Friendly, Sightline Institute (


NGA (2007), Integrating Schools into Healthy Community Design, National Governor’s Association (; at


NHTSA (2004), Safe Routes To School: Practice and Promise, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( Excellent guidebook with information on safety planning and promotion programs, including many activities for students.


Nathan Norris (2009), Smart Growth Schools Report Card, Smart Growth Schools (, Placemakers LLC; at


John Norquist (2007), School Choice: A Remedy for Sprawl, Congress for the New Urbanism (; at


Noxon Associates (2011), Transportation Demand Management for Canadian Communities: A Guide to Understanding, Planning and Delivering TDM Programs, Transport Canada (; at


NTHP (2010), Helping Johnny Walk to School: Policy Recommendations for Removing Barriers to Community-Centered Schools, National Trust for Historic Preservation (; at


Catherine O’Brien (2001), Ontario Walkability Study: Trip to School: Children’s Experiences and Aspirations, York Centre for Applied Sustainability (; at


Catherine O’Brien, Subha Ramanathan, Richard Gilbert and Arthur Orsini (2009), Youth & Sustainable Transportation: A Review of the Literature, The Centre of Sustainable Transportation, University of Winnipeg. Online; at,%20Review%20of%20the%20Literature.pdf.


Dara O’Byrne (2006), Reversing the Trend: Strategies to Make Center City Seattle Livable and Attractive to Families with Children, Seattle Center City for Families (


Paul Osborne (2005), “Safe Routes for Children: What They Want and What Works,” Children, Youth and Environments (, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 234-239; at


Roman Pabayo, et al. (2010), “Sustained Active Transportation Is Associated With A Favorable Body Mass Index Trajectory Across The Early School Years: Findings From The Quebec Longitudinal Study Of Child Development Birth Cohort,” Preventive Medicine, Vol. 50, Supplement 1, January, pp. S59-S64; at


Sylvia Parusel and Arlene Tigar Mclaren (2010), “Cars before Kids: Automobility and the Illusion of School Traffic Safety,” Canadian Review of Sociology, Vol. 47, Issue 2, May, pp. 129-147; abstract at


PBIC (2013), Introduction to Safe Routes To Schools the Health, Safety and Transportation Nexus, (,Pedestrian and Bicycling Information Center (www.pedbikeinfo.or).


Francoise Poinsatte and Will Toor (1999), Finding A New Way: Campus Transportation for the Twenty-First Century, University of Colorado Environmental Center and Colorado Office of Energy Conservation (; at


Portland (2007), Child-friendly Design Resources, Courtyard Housing Design Competition, Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (


Safe Kids Walking ( provides information for parents promoting sustainable transport and walk-to-school.


Safe Routes to Schools Website ( provides a variety of information resources for school transport management.


SCCCL (1999), Waiting for the Bus: How Lowcountry School Site Selection and Design Deter Walking to School, Southern Carolina Coastal Conservation League (Charleston); at


SCDOT (2008) Guidelines for School Transportation Design, South Carolina Department of Transportation (; at


School Travel Health Check website ( provides mapping analysis to support school transport management programs, such as the number of pupils within a realistic walking distance that travel by car as well, and travel carbon footprint or calories burned for all journeys to school by all modes of travel.


Smart Growth Schools Website ( provides practical information on how schools can support multi-modal accessibility.


Smart Growth and Schools Website (, supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, provides information on better school planning, siting and design.


Smart Schools, Smart Growth ( is a multi-partner, national effort to use school redevelopment to create less sprawling and more inclusive, neighborhood-friendly development.


Sustainable Urban Transportation Project Student’s Corner ( contains a variety of information resources for children and young adults on sustainable transportation issues. Note, registration is required, but is free.


Will Toor and Spenser Havlick (2004), Transportation and Sustainable Campus Communities, Island Press (; first chapter at


Scott Sharpe and Paul Tranter (2010), “The Hope For Oil Crisis: Children, Oil Vulnerability And (In)Dependent Mobility,” Australian Planner, Vol. 47, No. 4, December, pp. 284-292; summary at


TravelWise Walk To School ( provides resources for school transport management programs.


TravelSmart ( is a community-based program that encourages people to use alternatives to travelling in their private car, including school transport. They have an extensive collection of research documents at


TRB (2003), The Relative Risks of School Travel, Special Report 269, Transportation Research Board (


Margery A. Turner and Alan Berube (2009), Vibrant Neighborhoods, Successful Schools: What the Federal Government Can Do to Foster Both, Brookings Institution (; at


Tom Van Heeke, Elise Sullivan and Phineas Baxandall (2014), A New Course: How Innovative University Programs Are Reducing Driving On Campus  And Creating New Models For Transportation, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (; at


Way To Go! School Program, “small steps towards a big difference,” ( provides resources and support for school traffic reduction programs, including a variety of safety education strategies and materials.


Hank Weiss (2012), Caution! Paradigm Shift Ahead: “Adolescent Mobility Health, Adolescent Mobility Health Consortium ( ); slide show at,%20Ward_Adolescent%20mobility%20health.pdf.


Elizabeth Wilson, Ryan Wilson and Kevin J. Krizek (2007), “The Implications Of School Choice On Travel Behavior And Environmental Emissions, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, Vol. 12/7, pp. 506-518; at


Richard Yee, David Parisi and Brett Hondorp (2007), “Creating a Citywide Safe Routes to School Program: Pasadena, CA, USA’s Step-by-Step Approach,” ITE Journal (, Vol. 77, No. 9, Sept. 2007, pp. 22-27.


Jennifer Yeung, Scott Wearing and Andrew P. Hills (2008), “Child Transport Practices and Perceived Barriers in Active Commuting to School,” Transportation Research A, Vol. 42, Issue 6  (, pp. 895-900.


Huaguo Zhou, Jiguang Zhao, Peter Hsu and Jeanette Rouse (2009), “Identifying Factors Affecting the Number of Students Walking or Biking to School,” ITE Journal, Vol. 79, No. 10, October, pp. 40-44.

This Encyclopedia is produced by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute to help improve understanding of Transportation Demand Management. It is an ongoing project. Please send us your comments and suggestions for improvement.




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