Active Transportation

three children wearing back packs walking to school in a wooded area

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Active transportation is all types of human-powered transportation – walking, cycling, in-line skating or skateboarding, and using a wheelchair. Walking to the bus stop and biking to school or work are some of the way you can take part in active transportation.

School travel planning is a process to support school communities to improve active travel to and from school.

Active School Travel can help to...

  • Improve physical and mental health
  • Improve traffic and safety around your school
  • Improve air quality and help the environment
  • Have students arrive at school alert and ready to learn
  • Feel more connected to your community

Ask your school how you can get involved!

We can help! Contact the Healthy School Team at healthy.schools@healthunit.ca

 What parents can do

Do a practice walk: Travel the route together on the weekend and time how long it takes. You might want to add a few extra minutes for last minute delays like lost pencil cases.

Get a walking buddy: If your child’s school pal lives en route, consider picking them up along the way.

Drop and walk: If you don’t have time for the entire route, park a few blocks from the school and walk. It will add some activity and minimize traffic around the school.

Set a goal: The kids can check the distance on Google Maps and write down how much they’ve travelled.

Set a goal to match the distance of the length of Ontario’s Welland Canal (43 km) or the distance to Grandma’s house. Once they’ve reached their goal, consider a fun reward.

Get riding: If your child would rather ride a bike, go for it, as long as she’s a good enough rider of course.

Try a group effort: Get to know other families in the neighbourhood. Take turns hosting the morning drop-off and walking the kids to school. Sharing the walking commitment with a few other parents can make it easier to manage.

Enlist the school: Talk to your principal and parent council about encouraging active transportation. 

Adapted from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada


For more information on what parents can do to encourage active school transportation read this School Travel Planning Introduction for Parents

What schools can do

When students are driven to school instead of walking or wheeling, school zone congestion increases, which makes conditions less safe for those who do walk or wheel, and adds to air pollution. Also, school staff frequently waste valuable time dealing with traffic issues and complaints.

Examples of school travel planning actions that your school can take:

• Walking and cycling route maps

• New bike racks and cycling skills training

• Improved signage and crosswalks

 • Fun walking events

• Lower speed limits in school zones

For more information about what schools can do to encourage active school transportation read this School Travel Planning Introduction for Principals

 Tips for staying safe

Active transportation offers:

  • A chance for people to be physically active on a regular basis
  • More opportunities to meet people
  • Fewer cars on our roads 
  • Less air pollution from greenhouse gas emissions
  • Opportunities to save money on gas and parking

For more on active transportation, visit the Government of Canada website.

North Bay

345 Oak Street West
705-474-1400

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302
705-746-5801

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)
1-800-563-2808