Active transportation means using people power to get where you’re going! You can use your feet, bike, scooter, or any other form of non-motorized vehicle to get you to your destination. Encouraging students to walk and bike to school results in numerous health and safety benefits for individuals and communities:
habits. Walking and cycling to school enables children to incorporate the regular physical activity they need each day while also forming healthy habits that can last a lifetime. Regular physical activity helps children build strong bones, muscles and joints, and it decreases the risk of obesity. In contrast, insufficient physical activity can contribute to chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke.
environment. When families decide to walk or bike to get to school instead of riding in a car, they help reduce the amount of air pollutants emitted by automobiles.
congestion. Driving to school contributes to morning and afternoon traffic volumes and increases commute times. Reducing the number of cars on the road also improves conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, creating a positive cycle—as the community sees more people walking and biking, more people feel comfortable walking and cycling.
Stronger sense of
community. Walking and cycling bring families, neighbours, school officials and community leaders closer together. The sense of community also builds as children and parents develop walking and bicycling buddies and chat with neighbours on the sidewalk or path.
streets. Communities with higher rates of walking and cycling tend to have lower crash rates for all travel modes. One reason may be that motorists drive more cautiously when they expect to encounter walkers and bicyclists. More walkers and cyclists can also improve personal security by providing more “eyes on the street.”
Lower costs. Encouraging and enabling bicycle and pedestrian trips reduces costs for the family, community, and school district. Families save on gas, communities spend less on building and maintaining roads, and school districts spend less on buses.
Improved accessibility. Enabling students of all abilities to walk and bicycle to school makes it easier for everyone in the community to get around, including parents with strollers, senior citizens, residents without cars and residents with temporary or permanent mobility impairments.
Economic gains. Sidewalks, paths, and other investments in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure can increase home values and direct additional traffic to local businesses.
School Walking Route Program
The School Walking Route program encourages children to take designated routes with appropriate pedestrian controls when walking to and from school. School Route signs are strategically placed to ensure visibility to drivers and pedestrians.
The program increases awareness of child safety among drivers and reduces vehicle trips to schools by:
- Informing drivers they are on a designated walking route
- Encouraging parents to walk their children along the designated routes
- Encouraging pedestrians to cross only at designated intersections
- Providing a safety assessment of walking routes
- Reducing traffic congestion at schools
- Reducing noise and air pollution
- Promoting a healthy and active lifestyle
Dozens of Brampton schools participate in the Walking Route program. For information on starting a walk-to-school program at your school,
check out the walk to school program brochure.