Supporting Active School Travel through Public Policy

Why is it that the majority of Canadian children travel by car to get to school, rather than walking, biking or taking the school bus? There are a myriad of factors at play, including human factors like social attitudes, knowledge and skills, working-parent schedules, perceptions of safety, as well as infrastructure considerations, such as the location of a school and the presence of sidewalks, protected cycle lanes, and crossing guards.  

If we could change existing policies to encourage sustainable mobility for children and increase rates of active school travel, what would we recommend? 

To answer this question, Green Communities Canada (GCC) partnered with the Human Environments Analysis Laboratory (HEAL) at Western University to develop evidence-based policy recommendations for schools, school boards, municipalities, and the provincial government. The findings of the research project are detailed in our report ‘Investigation of Supportive Policy for Active School Travel 

The research identified 57 recommendations across 5 key themes in which relevant policies could be implemented, including Planning, Infrastructure, School Site, Student Transportation, and School Travel Planning. Each section of the report explores relevant literature, summarizes existing policies and best practices, followed by a list of recommendations of policy statements. 

To learn more about the public policy report, read the full blog post at and visit the resource page at

Feature photo by: Dan Garrity Media during Bike to School Week via EcoSuperior

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