Ottawa: new app promotes active school travel
Welcome screen for Hop! active school travel app

Ottawa’s EnviroCentre is set to gamify walking to school with a new tool. The organization is working with Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) to develop and launch a new Walk to School App, called Hop!. The application will offer a fun and innovative way to share resources, information and enthusiasm for active school transportation.  

Modelled on EnviroCentre’s successful Let’s Bike app, Hop! will help students celebrate their steps to school and make young minds aware of the impact of their school commute. The platform will allow students and families to log trips, track greenhouse gas averted, distance and number of days walked, and more. Hosted online, this progressive web-based app is easily accessible on any handheld device or a basic computer web browser. 

Participants will be able to log trips to and from school as well as walks in the community, ensuring that any student, whether in the walk-zone or not, can participate in and enjoy the fun features of the app. Users will also receive digital rewards for their participation when they log their trips and participate in challenges. 

Hop!— expected to launch on October 1, 2021 — will support school communities in hosting successful IWalk DayWinter Walk Day, and classroom challenges by providing them with helpful resources. To date, EnviroCentre, on behalf of OSTA and the City of Ottawa, has worked with nearly 50 schools to deliver Active School Travel Planning. It hopes to further engage students and families through Hop!, and deepen the culture of walking to school. 

The Hop! initiative in Ottawa is one of the latest community-based projects to receive support from the Ontario Active School Travel Fund. 

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