International Walk to School Week (iWalk) is the annual time for young people to discover how to get around on foot or on transit. During iWalk,October 4-8, 2010, TransLink has made a commitment to provide free transit for students. The offer applies to elementary school children and high school students with a valid GoCard.
iWalk is a great time for schools to turn a double-play: educating kids about transportation options and taking transit during field trips.
But because TransLink provides approximately 800,000 trips each day in Metro Vancouver, there are already a lot of people riding the system; TransLink encourages their regular customers to be patient and welcoming during the week and for teachers to consider these helpful tips as they organize field trips during that week.
- It's all about timing: go during "off-peak" hours - between 9:30am and 2:30pm
- Do your homework: Use TransLink's online resources including the Trip Planner
or Google Transit. Planning the trip could be a fun class project in itself.
- Do more homework: find out what other teachers in your school are planning trips at the same time and what route(s) they plan to take.
- Get help with the homework: Register your field trip at firstname.lastname@example.org. That way, Coast Mountain Bus Company, West Vancouver Transit and SkyTrain are aware that they can expect an influx of young passengers at given times. Classes that register will be eligible to win a set of TravelSmart coat tags for their students.
- A class divided? - If your school is in an area with a relatively high frequency of bus service - or you plan to use SkyTrain - consider splitting the class, with one group taking the following bus or train.
The Families section of the VSB website has additional information for planning a walking or cycling route to school.