Active-ating parents on school travel: Reducing car dependency for youth in Metro Vancouver

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As the number of children being driven to and from school continues to increase, transportation-related emissions are among the fastest growing greenhouse gas emissions in both Canada and Metro Vancouver while childhood obesity is reaching epidemic levels. In Metro Vancouver, upwards of 40% of morning congestion is due to parents driving children to school – a habit that influences future behaviours and instils a perception of car dependency. While 60% of parents are interested in finding alternatives to driving their children to school, many are concerned for their child’s safety. Metro Vancouver’s governance structure between school communities, school districts, municipal governments, regional transit authorities and the provincial government does not give jurisdiction over school transportation to any one body, creating an opportunity to better support modal shift to active modes of transportation. The capstone recommends parent concerns be addressed through a transportation certification program similar in scale and scope to the Babysitting Course, training youth how to safely navigate walking, biking and public transportation to and from school.
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