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Get Kids Walking and Cycling Again

Today

Children and teens walk and cycle a lot less than they used to — and that’s not healthy. Increasingly, it’s more common for kids and teens to be driven to school, or drive themselves when they’re old enough. In fact, school-related trips now account for 20% of morning peak period travel by GTHA residents. Since 1986, the proportion of students being driven or driving to school has more than doubled, while active transportation to school has steadily declined, contributing to both additional traffic volume and decreased physical activity.

The Draft Plan contains actions that will advance Active and Sustainable School Travel (ASST), an approach which contributes to improvements in health, safety and the environment today, while it ingrains habits that turn children and youth into pedestrians, cyclists and transit users tomorrow.

Tomorrow

The Draft Plan sees Metrolinx and its regional partners (ministries, school boards, municipalities, service providers, NGOs and other key stakeholders) work to establish school travel programs for Kindergarten through Grade 12. A greatly-expanded program will focus on travel planning at each school, exploring safe ways to encourage walking and cycling.

The 2041 RTP will work towards 60% of children walking and cycling to school

All partners can encourage ASST through regional coordination, while also adopting approaches that are location-specific in order to ensure that solutions involving walking, cycling and transit are tailored to fit the needs of every community.

And it’s not just about schools. The Draft Plan also prioritizes active and sustainable trips for children and youth within school areas and the broader community — including recreational destinations such as community sports and arts facilities.

Together

We want to create healthy communities, and that means planning with purpose — for today and tomorrow. We need to ask ourselves important questions about the long-term health and wellbeing of our region, and choose the paths that take us where we want to go.

Good choices help create healthy habits. We can design an environment in which it’s easier and safer for kids and teens to walk and cycle to school. And, by doing so, we will all enjoy the benefits.

Find Out More about School Travel

Check the Draft Plan for more information:

Page 89:
Encourage students to walk and cycle to school

Page 90:
Priority Actions

How can we encourage kids and teens to safely walk or bike to local destinations where they are traditionally driven?