A Walking School Bus or Bicycle Train is simply a group of children walking or cycling to school with one or more adults. Informal groups may involve two or three families who take turns walking or cycling with their children to school. It can also be formally developed and organized with a specific route consisting of established meeting points, specific times for the bus, and a list of children involved, with volunteer parents assigned to act as Walking School Bus or Bicycle Train leaders. In some schools there are one or two buses coming from a few neighbourhoods. In other communities the Parent Advisory Council develops a network of Walking School Buses or Bicycle Trains, so that families from all neighbourhoods surrounding the school can take part.
If your school is just beginning this process, it may be best to start with one or two simple neighbourhood groups. You can then build on the success of this initiative, and work to organize families in other neighbourhoods around your school. When developing your plan, remember that it requires more time and volunteer effort to sustain the more formal Walking School Bus or Bicycle Train model. For some schools this formality is important, and key to parents having the confidence to take part and allow their children to travel to school with a Walking School Bus or Bicycle Train group.