Kid Commute: A Walking School Bus initiative 

School children cross the road in medical masks. Children go to school

About Kid Commute: A Walking School Bus Initiative

The Society for Children and Youth of BC and TransLink in partnership with participating municipalities, launched Kid Commute: a Walking School Bus initiative in select elementary schools throughout Metro Vancouver for the 2023/24 school year.

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If you have any questions or would like to find out more about Kid Commute, please refer to the FAQ on this web page or send us an email at info@scyofbc.org 

Check out the video below from About Here to understand more about school congestion issues and the impact of initiatives like the Walking School Bus!

Much like a traditional yellow school bus, a WSB is a group of students who travel to and from school each day along a designated route, stopping along the way to pick up more students. The bus is supported by trained adult Walk Leaders, who walk with the group daily. The bus is powered not by an engine, but on foot, by the students themselves as they walk to and from school.  

Kid Commute is a regional WSB program that runs every day at pick-up and drop-off times at select elementary schools throughout Metro Vancouver beginning in September 2023. Each school’s bus will follow a scheduled route with designated stops, led by either a volunteer or a paid Walk Leader. The program was developed by TransLink in response to the need for safer school zones, reduced emissions, and the promotion of school active travel and healthy children in the region. 

For a great overview of the need for initiatives like Kid Commute to combat school congestion, check out this video from About Here and TransLink!

The benefits of a WSB are felt by the entire community! 

Students  

  • Improves physical and mental health 
  • Creates an opportunity to make new friends through shared experiences 
  • Inherent sense of belonging in being a part of a group  
  • Increases independence and self-esteem 

Parents  

  • Addresses parental safety concerns  
  • Grows and strengthens social network  
  • Addresses parental time constraints at drop-off and pick-up 
  • Save money on fuel  

School Community  

  • Reduces vehicle congestion around schools  
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions 
  • Improves air quality in communities  
  • Addresses student tardiness and absenteeism  
  • Strengthens the school’s social capital   

Kid Commute was piloted in the City of Vancouver and the City of North Vancouver in 2021-22.  Eight schools participated in the pilot, with students walking over 8,000 km over the course of the program.  Families reported participating for various reasons:  

  • 21% for health reasons  
  • 18% to promote independence 
  • 15% because it was good for the environment 
  • 15% to increase their connection to the community 
  • 15% participated because the program fit their routine 
  • 10% to increase activity levels  

The Kid Commute initiative launched in the City of Vancouver, the City of New Westminster and the District of North Vancouver in September 2023!

Participating schools include:
  • David Livingstone Elementary School
  • École Qayqayt Elementary
  • École Braemar Elementary
  • École Dorothy Lynas Elementary
  • Edith Cavell Elementary School
  • John Norquay Elementary School
  • Queen Elizabeth Elementary School
  • Queensborough Middle School

Interested in having a Walking School Bus at your school? Email [email protected] to express interest in having a Walking School Bus at your school. You will be added to a waitlist for future Walking School Buses.

Thank you to TransLink and our municipal partners for their generous support of this initiative.

                     

 

                       

Call For Volunteers!

Volunteer Walk Leaders for Kid Commute – A Walking School Bus Initiative

A Walking School Bus is an organized group of students who walk to school together with the support of an adult Walk Leader or Leaders. The Walking School Bus initiative has been running in select schools across Metro Vancouver.

The Society for Children and Youth of BC is seeking responsible, community-oriented individuals with an interest in working with children and encouraging active transportation. Volunteer Walk Leaders will lead and oversee a group of children as they walk to and/or from school each day along their designated route. Shifts are typically 45 minutes – 1 hour in length, with available shifts every day before and after school. Volunteer Walk Leaders are needed in the City of Vancouver, the City of New Westminster and the District of North Vancouver.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer Walk Leader for the Kid Commute initiative, please email us at [email protected]