International Walk To School Week (iWalk) returns for its 10th consecutive year from October 3-7. During this period children are encouraged to learn how to travel by foot, and public transportation.
In past years Translink has provided students from kindergarten through grade 12 with free access to the bus, sky train, SeaBus, and the West Coast Express for one week in October.
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As a result of the new Compass fare gates, this year’s campaign will only offer free bus transportation.
This annual initiative focuses on encouraging students to learn about all their travel options, and be more familiar with the system when they use it more frequently in the future.
Using vehicle transportation may seem like you are going against what IWalk is trying to achieve, but Translink states “both walking and taking transit promote good health and independence, while keeping greenhouse gases to a minimum”.
IWalk began from The Active & Safe Routes to School (ASRTS) movement that took hold in Canada during the 90’s and has today grown to numerous programs that encourage youth to get out and be more active.
Today IWallk is an annual global event that helps communities around the globe connect with its environment.
In previous years, teachers have made the experience fun for children by using the opportunity to take them on field trips.
You can imagine however what it would be like to take a classroom of grade 3 students on to a bus or sky train in Vancouver.
Luckily for you, Translink has a few tips that will offer a smoother experience for all.
- Go during “off-peak” hours. These are typically between 9:30am-2:00pm.
- Plan your trip well in advance. Vancouver’s sky train system can get a little confusing so knowing what transfers may be necessary will be vital.
- Take smaller groups. Have your class divided up, with one teacher for each group. This will make your job much easier having to watch over fewer children, and will also respect other riders.
We all have a part in ensuring we have a safe, and environmentally friendly community. Teachers, students, and communities have a huge role in this goal, guiding each other to have the proper knowledge, and resources necessary.
For children, this presents a fun, and interactive way to get out and get crucial physical activity.