Walking School Bus

  • What is a WALKING SCHOOL BUS?Picture on how to pick a route

    A Walking School Bus is a group of primary school children who walk to and from school along a safe and enjoyable set route, accompanied by a minimum of two parent driver/supervisors per ‘bus’. One parent ‘drives’ at the front of the bus, while the other parent supervises at the rear. Additional parents are welcome to participate. The walking bus picks up ‘passengers’ along the way at designated ‘bus stops’.

    The ‘bus stops’ can be meeting points along the route or at homes of the Walking School Bus participants. The process is reversed in the afternoon, led by the same or a different adult driver/supervisor. It can be flexible to suit the needs of families using it. The ‘bus’ can go as seldom or as often as parents want to ‘drive’ it and children want to use it. This means that it can even operate as little as one morning or afternoon each week. Many schools start the Walking School Bus on a one-day per week basis and increase its schedule over time. The service is free. Every child is welcome to join the bus even if their parents cannot be drivers.

    BENEFITS of the Walking School Bus

    Many school communities have started their own walking bus programs, which support increasing needs to change our travel choices. Each child who is part of a Walking School Bus is potentially one less vehicle on the road. This eases traffic congestion, increases safety and reduces pollution.

    The benefits of the Walking School Bus reach the whole community and include:

    • A safe and convenient way for children to travel to school;
    • Improvement of health and well being of children through walking and talking;
    • An opportunity for children to learn road sense and traffic safety;
    • Reduction of traffic congestion around schools;
    • Contributing to a sustainable environment;
    • Opportunities for children and parents to develop friendships and a sense of place and community in their neighborhood.

    The Walking School Bus: Combining Safety, Fun and the Walk to School – Learn how to organize, promote and maintain a walking school bus.

    Starting a Walking School Bus provides additional information on starting and developing a walking school bus.

Bike Train

  • Mass of people riding bikes down the street Bicycle trains are based on the same concept as walking school buses: they provide a way for children to bike to school safely in a group with adult supervision, whether it’s during a special event or a daily trip to school.

    Keep in mind that bicycle trains are more involved than walking school buses. But when a bike train is organized well, it can be a rewarding experience for both the students and the adult leaders.

    Bicycling to School Together, A Bike Train Planning Guide - Developed by the National Center for Safe Routes to School in partnership with Schwinn’s Helmets on Heads program.
    Get on the Bike Train – Guide booklet was developed by the Maine Safe Routes to School Program with special thanks on content from the Community Bicycle Center in Biddeford and the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, and is published by the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine (BCM) as an aid to schools and other organizations.


    Walkability & Bikeability Checklists