Walking School Bus
It’s a bus without the bus! A Walking School Bus is a group of families that walk along an established route together, collecting more families as they go. Walking School Buses can operate daily, one week a month or just on certain days. Choose the model that’s right for your community.
The National Center's Guide is very helpful!
Here are the steps needed to get a Walking School Bus going:
1. Determine interest: Start with parents, but don’t forget about local community, civic, and senior groups.
- School newsletters, PTA meetings, and local newspaper articles are good ways to reach people.
- Form a team. A walking committee will design a program that’s unique to your school. They will promote the Walking School Bus, develop program policy, and recruit and train drivers. Key members include: Parents, Principal, School staff, Safety officers.
2. Plan the route(s): Work with the principal and safety officers to identify routes.
- Map each route, designating the location and times for pick-up and drop-off sites.
- Assess the route by walking it.
- Do you have room to walk?
- Is it easy to cross the street?
- Is traffic a problem?
- Are the stop times and distances appropriate?
3. Arrange “meet and greet” event, cultivate trust and get help.
- Discuss map.
- Determine routes, frequency, times, back-up plan.
- Propose and finalize "rules", is a "student participation contract" needed?
4. Modify map, add finalize routes and times. See "Mapping" for ideas.
5. Announce day of first walk, post map of routes and route leader contact information.
6. Host school assembly reminding all of Pedestrian Safety Rules and Walking School Bus routes, times, etc.
7. Walk! Have fun, and plan you next one!
Download Oregon's How-To HERE.
Other resources to help:
Also, this video from Minneapolis may be of assistance as you explore Walking School Bus Programs. Who says it's too cold to walk to school in Oregon!