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Active School Travel

The Active School Travel program is the City of Gold Coast’s travel behaviour change program that aims to reduce traffic congestion around schools.

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Active School Travel

Cartoon kids in a yellow bus

Active School Travel (AST) is a free and tailored program which is proven to help Gold Coast school students, parents and teachers leave their cars at home and walk, cycle, scooter, carpool or take public transport to school.

It is specially tailored to each school with a dedicated officer, passports for each child, rewards and incentives, personalised active travel maps and much more.

What is Active School Travel?

Cartoon kids in a blue bus

The City’s AST program began in 2012 and aims to reduce traffic congestion around schools by encouraging students, parents and teachers to walk, cycle, carpool or catch public transport to and from their local school.

Changing the way you and your school community move reduces traffic at the school gate; promotes a healthier lifestyle, provides savings on fuel and parking costs and contributes to a cleaner and more sustainable Gold Coast.

In 2015, schools participating in the AST program achieved a 12.5 per cent (average) decrease in car trips to school and displayed an increase in walking, carpooling, scootering and public transport.

Schools participating in the AST program benefit from greater road safety, improved community networks and a dedicated AST Officer who provides guidance, support, resources and rewards.

Key AST initiatives and incentives are free and may include:

Cartoon sign pointing to different travel options
  • student incentives rewards
  • AST days
  • Zero the Hero educational road safety shows
  • Walk Safely to School Day
  • bicycle education workshops
  • minor infrastructure improvements
  • Assistance establishing an AST Committee
  • Assistance developing an AST plan with school assistance funding
  • bus education workshops
  • healthy breakfasts
  • scooter education workshops
  • cycling ambassador presentations.

Benefits for children who actively travel include:

  • increased road safety skills
  • improved student health through increased physical activity
  • arriving at school alert and ready to learn
  • improved concentration, sleep and relaxation
  • improved self-esteem, confidence, independence
  • opportunities to make friends and enhance social skills
  • more time together with family and friends.

Local community benefits include:

  • reduced traffic congestion
  • safer school drop-off and pick-up zones
  • improved air quality
  • a more social community

Meet Zero the Hero

Zero the Hero on stage

Zero the Hero is our road safety mascot who visits schools and performs an exciting singing and dancing routine to launch the AST program and provide students with key road safety messages.

The sessions are available and provide students with key road safety messages in an exciting performance. Zero performances are available to all participating Active Travel schools.

Active School Travel Competitions

Active School Travel 'ARTAST of 2017' calendar competition

The calendar competition is open to all AST schools and students are encouraged to create an artwork on A3 sized paper which celebrates active school travel themes: walking, cycling, scootering, skating, catching public transport, carpooling and/or road safety.

Find out more on the competition page.


2016 VCAST- Active School Travel Video Competition

All Gold Coast primary schools are invited to create a 30 second YouTube video about safe and active travel such as walking, riding, scooting or catching public transport to and from school.

Your video can be an advertisement, story, message or anything that demonstrates safe and active travel.

View the competition page for more information and download entry forms.

Join the Active School Travel Program

AST provides an extensive range of free tools, resources and intervention. Your AST Officer will tailor a package to suit your school.

Your school will improve with:

Cartoon girl holding a sign that says 'Did you know? In the 1970s, 80% of Australian school children rode or walked to school. Today only 20% of school children get to school by bike or foot, with the rest travelling to school in the back seat of a car.'
  • a dedicated AST Officer working closely with your school and committee
  • data and statistical summaries to showcase your achievements and to assist and reward good travel behaviour change
  • a weekly active travel day event
  • active travel maps personalised for your school with identified Park and Stride routes
  • an AST passport for every student to record their active travel
  • AST rewards and incentives for students, such as stationery and sports gear
  • the opportunity to apply for funding or reimbursement to support teacher relief.

Plus, schools can choose from any or all of the following:

  • assembly performances for the whole school
  • road safety education sessions for the whole school
  • bike skills training day
  • scooter skills training session
  • bus orientation session.

Active School Travel participants

There are currently nine schools participating in the 2017 Active School Travel program.

According to parent surveys, students have displayed improved road safety awareness since the introduction of the programs at their schools.

During 2016, Active Travel Day events recorded over 6000 participating students.

Cartoon woman with a group of kids

Commenced in 2016 – currently in second year of program

  • Surfers Paradise State School (Division 7)
  • Coomera Rivers State School (Division 3)
  • Currumbin State School (Division 14)

Commenced in 2015 – currently in final year of program

  • Coombabah State School (Division 3)
  • Elanora State School (Division 13)
  • Helensvale State School (Division 2)
  • Merrimac State School (Division 8)
  • Oxenford State School (Division 2)
  • Pimpama State School (Division 1)

Commenced in 2014 – completed program in 2016

  • Robina State School (Division 11)
  • Highland Reserve State School (Division 1)
  • Assisi Catholic College (Division 1)
  • Coomera Anglican College (Division 3)
  • St Brigid's Catholic Primary (Division 5)
  • St Francis Xavier Catholic Primary (Division 3)
  • Varsity College Primary Campus (Division 11)
  • Miami State School (Division 12)

Commenced in 2013 – completed program in 2015

  • Guardian Angels Primary School (Division 6)
  • Southport State School (Division 6)
  • Labrador State School (Division 4)
  • Park Lake State School (Division 5)
  • Tallebudgera State School (Division 14)

Commenced in 2012 – completed program in 2014

  • Mudgeeraba State School (Division 9)
  • Norfolk Village State School (Division 1)
  • St Vincent's Primary School (Division 8)

For more information about participating in the Active School Travel program please contact activeschooltravel@goldcoast.qld.gov.au.

How parents can get involved in Active School Travel

Cartoon man and kids cycling

Parents and caregivers play a critical role in influencing the development of a child's positive travel behaviour. Lessons learned at an early age and reinforced throughout a child's schooling will have a major effect on their attitudes and behaviours for the rest of their lives.

Families are encouraged to participate in AST events and initiatives and promote active and safe travel behaviour.

Ideas for travel behaviour change include:

  • parking a distance away from the school and walking the rest of the way with your children (e.g. 600 metres or a 10 minute walk /)
  • going for a ride with your children to develop their confidence and exposure to traffic situations (explaining traffic signs and signals)
  • travelling on public transport with your children to demonstrate correct behaviours
  • nominating a day each week to walk, ride or scooter to school together
  • planning your journey to school as a family and challenging yourself to travel a different way each time
  • carpooling with another family

Parents and caregivers are also encouraged to join their school's AST Committee (ASTC). The ASTC is established to help lead and promote the program within the school community.

Schools are always looking for volunteers who can help organise events and activities, promote active travel in the school, lead walking groups to schools and enter data to record the weekly active travel surveys. Contact your school to see how you can help.

External resources

RACQ Streets Ahead

A road safety education program for Queensland primary schools which comprises four age-appropriate presentations covering road safety themes, including passenger, pedestrian and bicycle safety.

RACQ Streets Ahead


Road Safety Matters: Prep to Year Nine road safety curriculum resource

The Queensland Government's Department of Transport and Main Roads, in partnership with the Department of Education and Training, has developed a road safety curriculum for Queensland schools. Road Safety Matters includes unit planners, support materials, assessment tasks (with guides to making judgment) and is consistent with the Queensland Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Framework Years 1-9 Essential Learnings.

Road Safety Matters


School Bus Code of Conduct

A resource for bus operators and schools to promote safe travel behaviour in, on and around buses.

School Bus Code of Conduct


School zone road rules

Keeping students safe and traffic flowing around school zones is everyone’s responsibility and a City of Gold Coast priority.

There are simple but important rules and guidelines in place to help parents, guardians and drivers do the right thing to help keep students safe.

Download the School zone road rules brochure for more information.

You can help keep your children's school zone safe by reporting badly parked vehicles using the online Report a problem - Vehicles form.

For more information contact activeschooltravel@goldcoast.qld.gov.au

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