Solutions that work

Strategies for success

Getting kids and parents to choose active modes of school transportation requires the effort, support, and coordination of multiple stakeholders.

Research on community-level interventions has found:

  • Parent, school, and community involvement is important
  • The most successful strategies address multiple factors, including both non-infrastructure and infrastructure measures, using the Five E’s approach.
  • Interventions should be tailored to the needs of each school

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School Travel Planning  addresses all of these success factors and is a proven cost-effective intervention to get more kids walking and wheeling.

Research on parent engagement has found the following to be important:

  • Strike a balance between both push and pull factors
  • Consider parents at different stages of change
  • Prioritize families that have gone through recent disruption of habits
  • Correct misconceptions of inconvenience and taking too much time
  • Appeal to the emotional brain, rather than the rational brain

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Research on international best practices has found that a successful regional active transportation program should include:  

  • Accountability to a strategic vision and objectives
  • Government policy commitments
  • A broad multi-disciplinary stakeholder group
  • Initiatives that engage and collect data for evaluation
  • A centralized web-based resource hub

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Addressing liability concerns

Our guidance note on liability concludes that school boards, municipalities, and parents can actually reduce their liability exposure by taking proactive steps to reduce traffic dangers and improve school zone safety through active school travel programming.

The information on this page is drawn from a broad range of sources – for a full listing refer to our Active School Travel Fact Sheet and Reference List.

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