Active School travel is an initiative geared towards encouraging families to choose active transportation for the trip to and from school.  Active transportation programs encourage school communities to walk, wheel (cycle, scoot, wheelchair, skate) or bus to and from school.  Active transportation increases physical activity, improves physical, mental and emotional health while also benefiting our environment .

The Issues


  • Childhood obesity rates are increasing.
  • The number of students walking to school has been steadily decreasing over the past 25 years.
  • Automobile dependency is contributing to increasing greenhouse gas emissions and negatively impacting the environment across Ontario.

An Opportunity

In working together, school administrators, teachers, parents, other school board staff, public health departments and municipalities can implement an Active School Program focussed on promoting active transportation. Green Communities' Canada Walks collaborates with organizations and schools across Canada to help support active school travel initiatives and manages the School Travel Planning process. The Active & Safe routes to school website contains numerous resources to support schools and communities which can be found under the useful links section.  

The Benefits

There are so many benefits to having an Active and Safe Routes to School Program, including

  • Improving student academic performance by making children more alert and better prepared to learn
  • Contributing to the daily goal of 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous activity for children, improving their health and overall fitness
  • Reducing traffic congestion and improving safety for everyone in school zones
  • Reducing Greenhouse gases emissions protecting environment
  • Promoting life-long habits that foster independence and active lifestyles, preparing children for their future

Watch and Learn More


Useful Documents 

Going to School? Go Active! 

Executive Summary: Children’s Mobility, Health and happiness