HEAL & Ontario Active School Travel Council working together to improve policies around active school travel
The HEAL is working with the Ontario Active School Travel (OAST) Council and Green Communities Canada to assess policies influencing Active School Travel (AST) across Ontario. Led by Senior Project Coordinator, Dr. Andrew Clark, the research will inform the policy agenda of the OAST Council and support Ontario Municipalities, School Boards and Student Transportation Consortia to develop policies that support and promote active transportation for school journeys.
The objectives of the policy scan are:
- To assess the state of policies and procedures that affect students’ choice of transportation for school journeys within Ontario across and within Provincial Government, Upper-Tier Municipality, Local Municipality (Single or Lower-Tier), School Board, and Student Transportation Consortia.
- To identify lessons drawn from the provincial analysis to make evidence-based recommendations for policies that will support and promote the use of AST by Ontario students.
The HEAL’s hope is that the polices recommended from this project will form the foundation of active transportation policy for years to come. The HEAL has a history of creating evidence-based policy briefs that have been successfully used to advocate for changing polices related to developing healthier communities. Additionally, this research will be impactful because the OAST and the broader network have a range of community partners that work together effectively to promote and advocate various levels of government to better support active school travel. The research team aims to provide a comprehensive list of policy recommendations that can be advocated by these partners at the local and provincial levels across the country. Finally, the work that the HEAL is doing is collaborative in nature, as the research team will be reaching out to the wider OAST community, through a survey and interviews. The results should be actionable evidence-based policies that will be able to be implemented in communities across Canada.
Funding for this project was provided by the Ontario Active School Travel Fund and MITACS.
The project was recently highlighted in the March 2021 edition of the Ontario Active School Travel News.