School Travel Planning
Across Canada, we are facing a modern-day challenge. Car culture is taking over and fewer kids are using active modes of transportation (i.e., walking, cycling, rollerblading, scootering) for their school journey. When students are driven to school instead of walking or wheeling, they miss the opportunity for much-needed physical activity, fresh air and quality interaction with parents, caregivers and friends. Driving also increases school zone congestion, which in turn makes conditions less safe for those who do walk or wheel, and adds to air pollution.
School Travel Planning (STP) is a proven cost-effective way to address car culture and get more kids walking, cycling, scootering or skateboarding to school. When effectively coordinated and implemented, the School Travel Planning model results in positive travel behaviour changes with health, safety, environmental, and economic benefits for the whole community.
Through School Travel Planning, school and community stakeholders collaborate to create and implement school-level action plans to achieve two key goals:
address transportation and
traffic safety problems
Increase the number of students using
active and sustainable travel modes
Green Communities Canada has been a leading organization promoting active school travel in Canada since the mid 1990’s. We researched and developed a School Travel Planning framework for Canada that we tested through a national pilot funded by the Coalition Linking Action and Science for Prevention (CLASP).
The project saw School Travel Planning implemented in 120 schools across all provinces and territories of Canada from 2010 to 2012. Since then, Green Communities Canada has delivered School Travel Planning on the ground in Toronto and Ottawa for several years and has supported various pilot projects and feasibility studies in communities across Canada in partnership with regional and provincial stakeholders. Read more about that here.
Our School Travel Planning resources
There are many small ways in which school communities can take action to boost sustainable travel by students, families and staff. Our Ideas Lab is a searchable catalogue of inspirational ideas and how-to resources to help schools get started.