Transportation@100%: Innovation 6
Connecting the Education System
The projects presented in the ten innovations areas are all designed to address barriers to vital services. Action teams should review all projects and prioritize those that have the best chance of addressing the barriers identified in the 100% New Mexico countywide survey. Your collaborative and result-focused local work is nothing less than heroic.
Project 1: The “school’s out” project
We’ve all had the benefits of after-school programs drilled into us, perhaps since the day when we ourselves were engaged in them. But they can’t do kids much good if they’re out of transportation’s reach. Your mission here is to figure out whether the buses that take kids home from school make a second loop around for the kids doing afterschool programs. This information should be readily accessible on the school district site or at least through a school district staffer. And don’t forget that a lot of schools do “before school” programs, but some students may not be able to attend due to eating breakfast in the cafeteria. Besides the school buses that school districts deploy, one way to get kids to and from afterschool and other educational activities is to give them a free bus pass, like Los Angeles is doing. Would that work for your district? Or how about something like the GoKid app, which aims to help parents do carpooling.
Project 2: The “get to school safely” project
The Safe Routes to School program aims to make it safer for students to walk and bike to school and encourages more walking and biking where safety is not a barrier. Transportation, public health and planning professionals, school communities, law enforcement officers, community groups and families all have roles to play using education, encouragement, engineering (changes to the physical environment) and enforcement to meet a local community’s needs. Traditionally underserved communities deserve particular attention, in part because they tend to have more pedestrian and bicyclist injuries. Data collection is critical to the planning, implementation and evaluation of programs.