The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) is pleased to announce it has been awarded a $100K grant from Ontario Active School Travel, a program of Green Communities Canada, to promote active transportation programs in the Ottawa Region. A community I Walk Event is being held at two Barrhaven schools, Half Moon Bay PS and St Benedict CS, on Thursday October 11th, 2018. More than 1,000 students and their families are expected to walk and roll to school, along with other members of the community starting at 7:50am.
“This grant will allow OSTA to expand its services and evolve existing programs, such as the Walking School Bus, School Travel Planning, and Walk a Block” says Vicky Kyriaco, GM and CAO of OSTA. “With more than 70 schools participating in our School Active Transportation program, the next step is to engage parents to lead the way by producing materials and providing incentives designed to gradually shift their mode selection from car to active travel on their way to school.”
“The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board embraces the positive impact active school travel has on our students, and on our school environment. Walking to school is an excellent way to promote physical and mental health and well-being. We are pleased to work with OSTA, and our City partners, to give our students as many opportunities as possible to get to school using human-powered modes of transportation,” states Jennifer Adams, Director of Education (OCDSB).
“We feel this is a very important initiative; to encourage our school communities to return to walking and rolling as the first choice for getting to school”, states Denise Andre, Director of Education (OCSB). “The Ottawa Catholic School Board collaborates with OSTA, and other organizations like Canadian Automobile Association, to deliver programs that help students, and their families, get to school safely using active school travel.”
Clifford Maynes, Executive Director of Green Communities Canada, states “In recent decades, we have seen a significant decline in walking among school children across the province. This initiative, with rich local partnerships, is a great opportunity to reverse this downward trend and rebuild a culture of active school travel.”
OSTA is grateful for the continued collaboration with, and contributions from, members of the Ottawa School Active Transportation Network who help develop strategic initiatives, and provide operational support and funding opportunities. In particular, OSTA wishes to thank the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Public Health, Green Communities Canada, OCDSB/OCSB, Ottawa Police Services, Ottawa Safety Council, EnviroCentre, and many others, for their work behind the scenes, and on the ground, to keep students safe on their way to school.