Brisbane’s Active Schools Travel Program

Brisbane City Council’s Active School Travel (AST) Program aimed to change the travel behavior of Brisbane primary school students, parents, and school communities by encouraging people to leave their car at home, opting to walk, cycle, scooter, carpool, or use public transport to and from school instead. While the program initially focused on road safety, it quickly evolved into an active travel program to ensure that there was a balanced approach to reducing traffic congestion and increasing physical activity levels, with an overall goal of reducing single car trips to school by 10%. Each primary school selected to participate in the three-year program established a committee that was tasked with working alongside a dedicated Council officer to provide families with the information, motivation, and opportunity to adopt an active mode of travel. The AST Program offered a suite of tools designed to increase self-efficacy and keep participants engaged, including safety instruction, public transportation orientation classes, bike and scooter skills training, weekly active travel days, maps, special events, competitions, and rewards. Annual program evaluation was completed via pre and post intervention student surveys, parent surveys, and Active School Travel Committee surveys. By the end of 2017, Brisbane’s Active Schools Travel Program had engaged over 157 primary schools to reduce single car trips by up to 35%, with half of the students at participating schools traveling to school by active means.

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