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Stepping it up project

Projet Stepping It Up
Stepping It Up Project

The Stepping It Up pilot project used the Canadian School Travel Planning (STP) model and Smart Commute workplace program to promote active and sustainable modes of school travel for students, families and staff. It was delivered at 30 elementary schools in the cities of Hamilton, Brampton, and Mississauga. The project received funding from Transport Canada’s ecoMOBILITY program, and was led by Metrolinx in partnership with the Region of Peel, City of Hamilton, Green Communities Canada and the University of Toronto.

At the school level, facilitators worked directly with school administrators and municipal partners to implement low cost actions, such as dedicated walk to school days; organized walking groups; crossing guard services; crosswalk markings and bicycle racks; and walking route maps and signage.

At the end of the project in December 2011, it is estimated that Stepping It Up pilot schools collectively achieved:

• an overall average decrease in school car trips of 7% in the morning period and 3% in the afternoon period, with an equivalent increase in pedestrian trips,
• an additional 746,700 minutes of walking among students annually, and
• the prevention of 101,635 vehicle kilometres travelled, 22 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (i.e. CO2 equivalent) and 884 kg of air pollutants annually.

Principals, teachers and parents also observed that:
• students were excited about walking to school and were getting more physical activity on the trip to/from school,
• conditions during the morning school run became safer and more orderly,
• walking or cycling to school had become more convenient, and
• people driving around the school were more aware of children walking and cycling.

At the GTHA level, project workshops involving more than 200 stakeholders demonstrated that provincial ministries, school boards, municipalities, school administrators, parents and students all have an important role to play in school travel. While school travel planning is a collaborative approach that is flexible enough to be applied on a broader scale, to be sustainable, its efforts need to work within a policy, planning, and servicing context that supports active modes of transportation.

Read the Stepping It Up final report here.

Stepping It Up Project - Partners & Funders

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Transport Canada - ecoMOBILITY
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School Travel Planning
Canada Walks
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Project BEAT
The Transportation and Environmental Change Lab
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A program of METROLINX