Safe Routes to School

Program basics

  • Federal program promoting walking and biking as modes of transportation to school
  • Administered by local government, school districts, and metropolitan planning organizations
  • Aims to increase active transportation and physical activity for improved health outcomes
  • Aims to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety and reduce emissions and vehicle miles traveled

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Proven (highest tier)

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Proven (highest tier)

Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps


Target population

Community-wide

Program cost

Not available

Implementation locations

  • Nationwide

Dates active

1990s-present

Outcomes and impact

  • Increases physical activity for students
  • Improves safety (reduces bullying, exposure to gang violence, and sexual assault/attacks)
  • Reduces motor vehicle-related injuries and fatalities
  • Reduces transportation's contribution to air pollution

Keys to successful implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Identify partners, including those already working on community safety and violence prevention and explore collaboration.
  • Gather qualitative and quantitative data to understand the local realities around crime, violence, and fear.
  • Work with community members to identify priorities and strategies.
  • Violence and crime prevention efforts rooted in community engagement are more likely to be successful.

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