Walking/Bicycling School Bus

Walking & Bicycling School Buses

What is a Walking/Bicycling School Bus? A Walking/Bicycling School Bus is “just like a regular school bus, but without the walls and seats, and instead of wheels, we use our feet,” according to LeeAnne Fergasen, a Pedestrian Safety Ambassador for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance of Portland, OR.

A Walking School Bus can be as simple as a few families in your neighborhood taking turns walking or riding with their children and other students to school, or as structured as specific routes with a regular schedule and meeting times.

Watch this newscast about a school in Minneapolis with an active Walking School Bus Program and be inspired! 


How do I start a Walking School Bus/Bike Train at my school?

The Sonoma County Safe Routes to School Program can offer you technical assistance in starting a Walking School Bus program at your school. We provide guidance, a printed copy of selected campaign resources, and ongoing support as you help make your school safer and healthier. Contact us at 707-545-0153 or saferoutes@bikesonoma.org for more information.

Walking School Bus Downloadable Resources:

  • Walking School Bus Volunteer Recruitment Flyer 1(without potential WSB routes) (English/Spanish) - Send and distribute this outreach/sign up sheet early in the school year or at least one-two months before trying to launch Walking school buses to help gauge interest in and recruit volunteers to be Walking School Bus leaders.  Personal outreach for Walking School bus volunteers is highly recommended - use every opportunity to recruit leaders (i.e. Back-to-School Night, Family mixers, PTA events, etc).
  • Walking School Bus Volunteer Recruitment Flyer 2 (WITH potential WSB routes listed) (English) (Spanish) - Send and distribute this outreach/sign up sheet early in the school year or at least one month before trying to launch identified walking school bus routes. As with Volunteer Outreach Flyer 1, personal outreach is highly recommended.
  • Walking School Bus Information Sheet (English) (Spanish) - Send home and/or distribute this information sheet to inform families about what a Walking School Bus is and why they may be interested in leading or joining one.
  • Walking School Bus Captain Sign-Up Sheet (English) (Spanish) - Utilize this form, if needed, to keep track of Walking School bus leaders at your site.
  • Sample WSB Route Promotion Flyer (English) (Spanish) - There are many ways to publicize your Walking School bus routes - via email blast, website, send-home flyer, posters around the school, announcements in the classroom, etc.  This is just one example of a WSB route flyer, taken from a school in Cloverdale.  Some schools with fewer routes or shorter distances choose to include a map on their flyer as well. 
  • Walking School Bus Safety Cards (English/Spanish) - Can be distributed to students participating on the Walking School Bus.
  • NHTSA Bicycle Safety Brochure (English/Spanish) - Can be distributed to students participating on a Bicycling Bus.
  • Walking School Bus Leader Training - Presentation that may be utilized to train volunteer parent WSB leaders
  • Walking School Bus Fun (English/Spanish) - Fun things to do while on your walking school bus

If you have designated routes and/or meet-up points at your site, but need help formatting/designing a WSB Route flyer, contact saferoutes@bikesonoma.org for technical assistance.