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 What is Active and Safe Routes to School (ASRTS)?

Active and Safe Routes to School is a provincial initiative that strives to create an environment that is conducive to, and supportive of , safe, walkable communities. It promotes the use of active and efficient transportation for the daily trip to school addressing health and traffic safety issues while taking action on air pollution and climate change.

What are the eight initiatives of Active and Safe Routes to School?

1. Walking School Bus: Adult volunteers walking a route, picking up children along the way and taking them to school
2. Walking Wednesdays: One day a week is set aside as the day to walk to school
3. IWALK (International Walk to School Week and Day):  Annual event the first week of October
4. Walk-a-Block: A drop off zone a block or two away to encourage walking
5. Walkabouts:  Assessing the neighbourhood for appropriate infrastructure to support the walk to school
6. Walking buddies: Older students are ‘buddied” with younger students for the walk to school
7. No Idling at School: Initiatives are adopted to promote car engines off
8. Classroom Mapping: Teachers assist students to map their neighbourhood looking at enablers and barriers to active transportation

Joshua Creek PS Students walking school bus Charles R. Beaudoin PS Students walking in the winter

How do I get involved in this program?

If you are interested in getting this program into your school contact your school Principal or send an email to ASRTS@hdsb.ca  Please refer to the Documents section for Project Plan and other project documents

Who are the Community Partners?

ASRTS Sponsor Logos

The following community partners support the ASRTS project,  Halton Region, City of Burlington, Town of Halton Hills, Town of Oakville, Town of Milton, and Halton Regional Police Services.

In a response to a request made by the Halton District School Board, the above stakeholders along with Salmona Tregunno Inc, agreed to collborate on developing a Guidelines document focused on the design of schools and their adjacent communities, that would encourage and support children and their families to choose active transportation to and from school.  The Design Guidelines for School Site and Adjacent Lands Planning follows planning and traffic best practices supportive of walking and wheeling (skateboards, scooters, bikes and blades)  (see Document section for Guidelines)

ASRTS in the News and at Conferences

The project has received much media attention appearing in two major newspapers and on two TV news reports (CBC, CTV)

Toronto Star:
Dropping Kids off Here? Better Lace your Shoes

Hamilton Spectator: 
 1. Getting Kids to Class on Foot
 2. Editors Response to the article
 3. Citizen Response

ASRTS has been involved in the following conferences (presenting & moderating):

 Canadian TDM Summit 
 Ontario Healthy Schools Coalition 9th Annual Forum 
 On the Move in the Community Forum 
 Transportation Association of Canada’s Annual Conference and Exhibition 
 Ontario Traffic Council: Traffic Engineering Workshop
 Halton Catholic District School Board’s Annual Parent Conference
 Walk 21 Conference 2010

Check out the new PSA on ASRTS- see how the walking school bus works

Hear what elementary school students have to say about the benefits of being active on the trip to school, watch Stepping It Up video: Kids Say Walking to School Is Healthy, Fun and Good for the Environment. A Teacher's Guide for classrooms is available to accompany this video resource.

Learn more from the experts about how schools and communities can come together to support active school travel through school travel planning, and about the benefits these efforts can bring, watch Stepping It Up video: How to Get Active on the Trip to School Through School Travel Planning.



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