Safe Routes to School

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • This strategy can help prevent violence. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

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)


Proven (highest tier)

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

Target population


Program cost

Not available

Implementation locations

  • Nationwide

Dates active


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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