OK, here’s some excellent news for you from the Pacific North West. Sam Balto, (@coachbalto on Twitter) is a Physical Education Teacher and a resident of Portland, Oregon.
After spending some time in the trenches of the chaotic student drop-off/pick-up system, the irony of parents driving their children to school while complaining that there is too much traffic for their children to walk or ride to school was not lost on Coach Balto.
He came up with a fun, safe, and healthy way for the kids, and their parents, to get to school, as well as a great way to create #onelesscar on the road.
Back in 2018, Coach Balto started a “walking school bus”, in an attempt to make a safer way for kids to get to school. The walking school bus was intended, at first, for students that didn’t qualify for the bus, whose parents can’t drive them or walk with them, or for students who are walking to school on their own. After a while, even students that did qualify for the bus were joining the other students and taking the “walking school bus” to school.
Sam was first inspired by a viral video of a Bike Bus in Barcelona. Then San Fransisco’s Safe Streets program and their existing Bike Busses they had been running. It was at this point that Coach Balto decided to start one in Portland, with the first Bike Bus day yielding a whopping 70 children and is now up to 140 kids, plus some of their parents… Kudos Coach Balto!!
Check out the video above from Active Towns- Profiles by John Simmerman, for more on this story!