Peterborough, Ontario, May 2, 2023 – Today, Infrastructure Canada announced a federal investment of $50,000 to advance a provincial data collection pilot in Ontario to research how children travel to school.
The funding, granted to Green Communities Canada (GCC), will support the collection of student travel data to gain insight into how students get to and from school, what informs those decisions, and which infrastructure improvements could enable the use of active modes of transportation by children and families.
“It is vital that we develop more collaborative active transportation initiatives across the country to get more children and families moving,” says Jennifer O’Connell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “The Government of Canada’s investment in this planning project will help local municipalities, regional transit agencies, and the provincial government in Ontario promote healthier lifestyles, cut air and noise pollution, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and make active transportation more enjoyable.”
The pilot will conduct hands-up surveys in schools and gather additional data using a household survey distributed to families. The surveying activities will take place in 2023 with participation from hundreds of schools, classrooms, and families.
“Collecting consistent student travel data ensures that decision-makers and practitioners are able to prioritize interventions based on need, measure greenhouse gas emission reductions, and assess the effectiveness of active transportation infrastructure investments over time,” says GCC’s Sustainable Transportation Manager, Nicole Roach.
“Our approach engages local communities by providing the guidance and tools necessary to conduct meaningful data collection activities at schools across the province,” says GCC’s Executive Director, Brianna Salmon. “It is critical that we are building capacity at the local level and getting teachers, students, and their families excited about active school travel.”
Following the pilot, GCC will publicly share the research results and findings, and will make key recommendations for scaling data collection efforts to the national level.
Funding announced today supports Canada’s National Active Transportation Strategy. By investing in infrastructure, the Government of Canada is growing our country’s economy, increasing the resiliency of our communities, and improving the lives of Canadians.