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stepping it up

Walking to school photo

The Stepping It Up pilot project is led by Metrolinx in partnership with the Region of Peel, the City of Hamilton, Green Communities Canada, and the University of Toronto, with funding from Transport Canada's ecoMOBILITY program.

The project will focus ’ on identifying the possibilities for enhancing and encouraging use of active and sustainable travel options for students and staff, such as walking, cycling, and carpooling. Stepping It Up began rolling out school-based activities at participating elementary schools in fall 2009. By the pilot project’s end in December 2011, 30 schools will be participating.

Take the First Step

Hear what elementary school students have to say about the benefits of being active on the trip to and from school - watch the Stepping It Up video: Kids Say Walking to School Is Healthy, Fun and Good for the Environment. A Teacher's Guide for classrooms is also available to accompany this video resource.

Learn more from the experts about how schools and communities can come together to support active school travel through school travel planning, and about the benefits these efforts can bring - watch the Stepping It Up video: How to Get Active on the Trip to School Through School Travel Planning.

Study Results

Metrolinx conducted a Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area-wide school travel study of 1,000 parents and guardians in fall 2009. The study highlighted that:

  • There is room for a shift toward active school travel. Nearly 60 per cent of children being driven live within 2 km of their school.
  • Children are capable of walking the distance. Nearly 60 per cent of parents say their child’s school is close enough that they could reasonably walk or bike.
  • Many parents are open to change. Over 50 per cent of parents whose child is currently driven see the option of walking/biking to school as convenient and appealing.

Stepping It Up will help address issues of sustainability, climate change, personal and traffic safety, air pollution, and health by promoting more walkable environments in and around schools. Project activities use a collaborative, community-based approach involving school boards, municipalities, police, public health professionals, transportation providers and professionals, parents, educators, and children.

School travel chart