Carpooling: jump in, the water’s fine!

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Carpooling may sound small, but a school carpooling program can have a big effect. The more kids or teachers in a car on the way to school, the less fossil fuel used per person and the less pollution emitted per person. Start in one or two classes to see if parents seem interested in reducing the number of times they need to drive back and forth from school. There are several ways to scale it up from there—from a simple bulletin board by the office to a paid service for online carpool coordination. You could also start a campaign to get kids and families walking or biking to school (as a group) and encourage the group to stick with it for the year.

Get Started

  • Survey your students to find out how they typically get to and from school.
    • Identify leaders and alternative transportation advocates in the school or community to act as role models and to get the message out. Do some of your teachers ride their bikes to work regularly?
  • Host a walk/ride to school day, sometimes called a “Walk and Roll” Day, to encourage alternative transport or carpooling to school.
    • Walking and biking to school/work is a great form of exercise. Does your school have goals for physical activity or obesity prevention? A walk/ride campaign may be something that city or school district health and wellness staff would love to support.
    • Get local law enforcement involved in a walk/ride day or long-term campaign to ensure that everyone gets to school safely. Consider aligning with National Walk to School Day, Safe Routes to Schools, or another national campaign.
  • Set up a system to coordinate carpooling with families and staff.

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