THE City of Vancouver, in partnership with HUB Cycling and the Vancouver School Board, on Wednesday announced the expansion of the School Active Travel Education program as part of its Climate Emergency Action Plan.
Beginning in 2022, HUB Cycling’s Ride the Road bike safety education course will become available to all grade 6 and 7 students in Vancouver public schools. The free program will be delivered at 37 schools this year—up from the previous six per year since the program first launched in 2018—and more schools next year. This will make it possible to reach all public elementary school students in the target grades every two years.
The Ride the Road: Active Travel course includes four lessons that teach students walking and cycling safety theory and on-bike skills via school ground training and group rides around the neighbourhood.
“Cycling in a city can be daunting for kids and their parents. Courses like Ride the Road build confidence, encourage independence and show that safe, active travel to school can be a fun, green and healthy way to get around,” said Paul Storer, the City’s Director of Transportation.
To ensure all students can participate, HUB Cycling will supply bicycles—including adaptive bicycles—and helmets to those who need them. Students will also receive a course completion certificate that includes resources to further encourage the use of active transportation modes among children and their families.
“HUB Cycling is pleased to provide universal biking and walking education to all Vancouver elementary schools over the coming two years,” said Rose Gardner, HUB Cycling’s Director of Bike Education. “With this expansion, the City of Vancouver becomes a leader in providing youth with the skills and knowledge needed to use active transportation and stay safe on our roads. Raising a generation of sustainable transportation users is critical to realizing our climate action and vision zero goals. In addition to numerous health benefits, cycling also helps build a stronger connection to the community.”
HUB Cycling will monitor program outcomes by surveying students, parents and teachers and will deliver an annual report to the City by December 2022.
“It is great to see a program dedicated to cycling education for Vancouver students,” said Lois Chan Pedley, Vancouver School Board trustee. “The HUB Cycling program encourages active transportation and helps young cyclers build skills and confidence to cycle to and from school safely. As a Board, we continue to support active and sustainable transportation choices for school communities and families.”
Spaces in the program are full for this spring, but schools interested in participating in the fall can contact HUB Cycling at firstname.lastname@example.org or register for Bike to School Week at www.bikehub.ca/btsw.