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Gearing Up for Spring: District-wide Active Travel Initiatives

School Streets at Kerrisdale Annex

About 60% of students are walking, biking or rolling to school in most elementary catchments across the District. Now that spring has arrived, schools are gearing up for even more active travel events!


Since the beginning of the school year, students at Norquay, Cavell, Bayview and Livingstone have been participating in a Walking School Bus program, supported by the Society for Children and Youth (SCY), Translink and the City of Vancouver. A walking school bus, much like a traditional yellow school bus, transports students to and from school along a designated route. The difference? This “bus” is people-powered! Trained walk leaders accompany the students, ensuring safety, bolstering community spirit and promoting environmental stewardship. So far, these walking school buses have traveled a total of 3188 kilometers and avoided an estimated 750 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions! 

For more information about the Walking School Bus Program and to learn about how your school can get involved next year, visit the SCY website.

Picture5.jpgWalking School Bus Program

Biking and Rolling 

Across the District, schools and Parent Advisory Councils (PACs) are getting ready for Bike to School Week (or Go By Bike Week for secondary schools) on June 3 to 7. Participating schools will count the number of trips to school by bike or scooter and celebrate with incentive prizes and giveaways. 

Schools have been preparing students to bike to school by taking part in HUB Cycling’s Ride the Road program – an immersive active travel course for intermediate students to building cycling and pedestrian confidence. Supported by the City of Vancouver, this program is offered for free to all Grade 6 and 7 students in Vancouver schools. 

Secondary students at four VSB secondary schools have been able to participate in the Mobi Community Pass Program with access to a Mobi bike for an annual membership of only $20 (or less if necessary) per year. Peer to peer outreach through each of the four schools’ green clubs has been the most effective way to recruit new riders to the program. 

To make sure there’s somewhere to park all the bikes and scooters, the District is upgrading bike and sooter parking at various schools across Vancouver. A generous donation from the City of Vancouver’s Community Transportation team means that every school in the District will either meet or exceed the City’s bike parking requirements for safe and secure storage.

Picture3-1.jpgWalk, Roll, and Wheel Rodeo at Nootka

Safer Streets 

Supporting safer streets no matter how a student is travelling to or from school, the School Streets program started up again this spring at Gordon, Selkirk, L’Ecole Bilingue and Strathcona elementary schools. Closed to car traffic at pick up and drop off times, a School Street is a car-free block beside a school, open to walking, biking, and rolling. Since 2021, 12 schools have participated in the program (some for multiple years), seeing benefits like: 

  • A safer environment for students 
  • Improved air quality 
  • Increased active travel to school
  • Reduced vehicle congestion around schools 
  • Reimagined uses for public space

In addition to the community supported programs mentioned above, schools have been planning their own active travel encouragement activities, events and celebrations throughout the year. There are bike mechanic clubs, bike buses, walking school buses and gear libraries popping up at schools, plus a flurry of one-day or week-long events to celebrate choosing to walk, bike or roll to school. 

Picture1.jpgFull bike racks at Prince of Wales


How are you celebrating this spring? If you need some ideas, check out the Active Travel Toolkit to help you get started. Share any photos of your events by email to!

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