Technological tools open up new ways to think about safe routes to school
Providing safe, reliable ways for kids to get to and from school is a top priority for parents and school administrators. Initiatives like the Safe Routes to School program can be paired with next-generation technological tools to help school communities build smart carpool programs that help participants save money, reduce traffic and strengthen social bonds.
Safe Routes to School provides parents with detailed information (pdf) on how to launch and manage a student carpool. Here’s what they suggest:
- Access a school directory to find nearby families interested in starting a schoolpool.
- Register your schoolpool and decide whether to pick up students at a designated spot in the neighborhood or use a door-to-door approach.
- Arrange to meet the participating families in person before starting the schoolpool.
- Exchange contact information and decide on a day to launch your new schoolpool.
- Make sure all participants have access to important safety equipment, such as child car seats and restraint systems for young students.
- Do a test run to make sure everything works smoothly.
Following these steps can seem daunting when you’re starting from scratch. Is it really worth the effort?
Reap the benefits of smart management tools and help build a safer, stronger school community
As evidenced by their support from Safe Routes to School, schoolpools are a great student transportation solution. Their key benefits include:
- Improved safety. Students enjoy reliable transportation to and from school, and carpooling reduces the amount of traffic in pick-up and drop-off zones, reducing hazards to pedestrians.
- A stronger school community. Students and parents alike can make new friends and help build stronger community bonds. Shared transportation is a great way to socialize!
- Cost savings. Carpools reduce financial burdens on school budgets, and help parents save gas money by sharing driving duties.
- A cleaner environment. Schoolpools help cut traffic emissions while educating children on the importance of the environment and instilling them with a sense of ecological responsibility at a young age.
Modern technology provides a wealth of online tools that could be used to manage schoolpools. For example, by creating shared online driving schedules. Or, by alerting other participating families if a student is sick or the designated parent is unable to drive on a certain day. However, there are few ready-made solutions that parents and administrators can rely on to implement school- or district- or city-wide programs. That’s where we come in.
The RideAmigos transportation demand management platform delivers advanced schoolpool creation and management tools. Our software has already helped thousands of parents create student carpool programs. Learn more about our work with K-12 schools and explore the many useful features of our schoolpool module.
Photo Credit: Lucélia Ribeiro, “Children at School”