The Walking School Bus is a popular way of encouraging young children to walk to school together.
What is the Walking School Bus?
It works like a bus, picking up 'passengers' along the way at designated 'bus stops' except everyone is walking! In Western Australia, the Walking School Bus model is coordinated through the Department of Transport's TravelSmart Program.
The Walking School Bus operates as a supervised group of children walking to and from school along a safe and enjoyable set route. A group is accompanied by at least two parent supervisors. One parent 'drives' at the front of the bus, while the other parent supervises at the rear. The same or different supervisors accompany the children to and from school. Additional parents may be needed depending on the walking environment.
The Walking School Bus can be flexible to suit the needs of families using it. The 'bus' can go as often as parents want to 'drive' it and children want to use it. This means that it can even operate as little as one morning or afternoon each week. Many communities start with a one-day per week 'bus' and increase its schedule over time. All children are welcome to join the bus even if their parents cannot be drivers. And the service is free.
The Walking School Bus is a component of TravelSmart to School, and has been operating in WA since 2002. It runs in most states of Australia, and overseas including Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the USA.
A volunteer helping a child get ready for the walk
Catch the Walking School Bus to Primary School
Catch the Walking School Bus to Fremantle Primary School