How have schools encouraged walking bicycling and carpooling to school?

Communities such as Charlottesville in Virginia and Santa Cruz in California have developed "school pool" programs in which a voluntary group of parents share the responsibility of getting children to and from school safely. This can include walking, biking, carpooling or taking the bus, and whether done on a daily basis, occasionally or in case of an emergency, school pools help communities address child safety and reduce traffic congestion.

The school pool program, for example, is a service that provides 'matchlists' to parents with students attending the same school so that students may carpool, walk, or bike together. In some cases participating schools provide student rosters containing names, addresses and phone numbers to the agency which then provides the computer matching. In other cases parents sign up individually and are matched with parents at the same school. After parents receive a matchlist of other parents, it is up to them to make the arrangements they prefer.

The Mid-America Regional Council runs the RIDESHARE program for the greater Kansas City Region. School Pool is a service of RIDESHARE a free commuter matching services. Visit www.marc.org/rideshare/ to learn more about how this program works.

RIDES for the San Francisco Bay Area operate a similar program. Bay Area Commuters, Inc. is a nonprofit organization promoting commute alternatives to driving alone to school or work.