Active School Travel Program

When kids walk, bike and roll to school, we all benefit. Students benefit from improved mental and physical health; neighbourhoods benefit from improved safety and air quality; and the environment benefits from reduced carbon emissions.

The Active School Travel program uses a collaborative process that aims to increase the number of students traveling to school in a physically active manner. The program uses a holistic approach guided by the “5 Es”:


Active School Travel Guide

Active School Travel planning is supported by the City of Nanaimo's 2014 Transportation Master Plan, the School District 68's 2021 Long Range Facilities Plan, and the City of Nanaimo's City Plan. The goal of this Active School Travel planning is to empower individuals and groups to work with their school community to plan initiatives that increase safety for students traveling to school, and to increase the number of students traveling to school in a physically active manner.

Active School Travel Guide

How to Participate

The City and School District will select one new school each year to participate in the program, based on levels of interest and need. If you are interested in working through the Active School Travel Program, please contact the School District to discuss the level of priority.

Even though not all schools will be able to participate in the Active School Travel Program in the short term, there are plenty of ways that schools can begin working towards more Active School Travel right away:

First Steps - Active School Travel Hacks

  • Drive to 5+ and walking school bus initiatives
  • school safety patrol
  • skills courses
  • speed watch
  • and more! Take a look at the resources we have available in the Active School Travel Guide


Drive to 5+ & Walking School Bus Initiatives

Driveto5 Sign - DaynesParkSmall

Drive-to-five+ is a program where parents drop-off and pick-up their children at locations that are a five-fifteen minute walk from the school. There are various ways to structure this program, depending on the age of the students and the capacities of the school Parent Advisory Committee (PAC).

Walking School Buses are a group of children walking to school with an adult. Safety in numbers - this is a fun way for parents and children to embrace active modes to and from school with an added level of comfort.

If you are interested in initiating a program like these at your school, here is a toolkit to help you get started:

Nanaimo's Drive to 5+ Toolkit

School Safety Patrol

BCAA includes a number of resources on their websites to start a Student Leadership & School Safety Program at your School.

Skills Courses

Check out the Nanaimo Activity Guide for recreation programs related to cycling, including the "Street-Smarts Commuter Cycling Skills" program.

Speed Watch

If speeding is an issue near your school, you may be interested in the RCMP’s volunteer Speed Watch program which uses radar and electronic speed boards to educate drivers and collect speed data for the RCMP and ICBC.

If interested, you can visit the Nanaimo RCMP Community Policing Program website for more information.

A Few Other Ideas

Participate in GoByBike | Organize a walking and biking to school challenge | Provide info to parents about Active School Travel | Incorporate in-class lessons and activities related to walking, cycling, and transit | Incentives/ prizes for walking and biking to school | Walking buddy systems | Creative ways to make walking and biking even more fun

There are many ways to encourage Active School Travel!

Completed Active School Travel Plans

School Travel Maps:

 School Travel Plans:

 Get Involved

If your school is interested in the Active School Travel Program, please contact:

City of Nanaimo, Transportation Engineering Department
Phone:  250-755-4460 ext. 4385

Other Resources

For resources to plan your family or student's active trip to school, check out the Nanaimo Ladysmith School District's "Getting to School" webpage:

Last updated: October 20, 2023

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