Walking School Bus Programs in U.S. Public Elementary Schools

Elementary schools were more than twice as likely to have a walking school bus (WSB) if district and state policies supported safe active transportation than if no such policies were in place.


  • The percentage of schools nationally with WSB programs increased from 4.2% in 2008-2009 to 6.2% in 2009-2010.
  • Schools were 2.14 times as likely to organize a WSB program if a district policy concerning safe active transport to school was in place than if no policy existed.
  • Schools were 2.72 times as likely to have a WSB program if state law required school crossing guards than if no law existed.
  • WSB programs were more common in the Northeast (10.9% of schools) and West (7.9%) than in the South (2.9%).
  • Rural schools were 73% less likely to implement a WSB program than urban schools.
  • Schools with a majority Latino population were 78% times less likely to have a WSB than schools with a majority white population.


  • Data was collected through responses to a mail survey from 641 elementary schools in 2008-2009 and 680 elementary schools in 2009-2010.

Turner, L., Chriqui, J.F., & Chaloupka, F.J. (2013).Walking School Bus Programs in U.S. Public Elementary Schools. Journal of Physical Activity and Health 10, 641-645.

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