Active School Travel
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?
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:
- 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 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
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.
Active School Travel 'ARTAST of 2016' 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.
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:
- 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 a survey of parents of students enrolled in these schools, students have displayed improved road safety awareness since beginning the program.
The popular 2016 Active Travel Day events recorded over 6000 participating students. Schools that continued the program throughout the school year improved or maintained their students’ active travel levels by year’s end.
Participating schools in 2017:
- Currumbin State School (Division 14)
- Coombabah State School (Division 3)
- Coomera Rivers 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)
- Surfers Paradise State School (Division 7)
Previous Active School Travel participants
- Assisi Catholic College (Division 1)
- Coomera Anglican College (Division 3)
- Guardian Angels Primary School (Division 6)
- Highland Reserve State School (Division 1)
- Labrador State School (Division 4)
- Miami State School (Division 12)
- Mudgeeraba State School (Division 9)
- Norfolk Village State School (Division 1)
- Park Lake State School (Division 5)
- Robina State School (Division 11)
- Southport State School (Division 6)
- St Brigid's Catholic Primary (Division 5)
- St Vincent's Primary School (Division 8)
- St Francis Xavier Catholic Primary (Division 3)
- Tallebudgera State School (Division 14)
- Varsity College Primary Campus (Division 11)
For more information about participating in the Active School Travel program contact firstname.lastname@example.org
How parents can get involved in Active School Travel
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.
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.
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.
School Bus Code of Conduct
A resource for bus operators and schools to promote safe travel behaviour in, on and around buses.
For more information contact email@example.com
- 2016 VCAST- Active School Travel video competition
- Active School Travel 'ARTAST of 2016' calendar competition
- Gold Coast City Transport Strategy 2031
- Road safety
- Cycling, pedestrian networks and sustainable transport