The Walking School Bus is an invention of traffic-calming expert David
Engwicht. Its purpose is to get children walking to school again by
overcoming the obstacles of traffic safety and the perception of stranger
From David Engwicht's book Street Reclaiming:
A "Walking Bus Driver" walks a set route each morning and
afternoon and picks up children at Walking Bus Stops... Ultimately,
I believe they will be best organized from the neighborhood level...
as part of neighborhood strategies to reduce car use.
Engwicht lists the features necessary for the Walking School Bus to
One or more drivers. These need not be parents.
They can be retired people, grandparents, or people who work from
Designated back-up drivers.
- The safest route mapped and designated pick-up points.
- A "bus" in which children can place their bags and in which
rain or snow gear can be kept...For increased safety, the bus should
be pushed rather than pulled so that it enters the roadway before
the driver or children.
If a trolley of some kind is used as a bus (or
to carry school backpacks), it should be brightly colored and have
safety flags high enough to be seen above cars...Children can all
be issued a brightly colored hat which identifies them as part of
the Walking Bus and increases visibility.