Costs: Program costs depend on the size and duration of the program.
- In general, a Walk to School Day budget for 50-200 students can range from $200 to $500 (including a stipend for a coordinator, advertising costs, raffle prizes, and snacks).
- A budget for a six-week Walking School Bus program for 20-50 students at one school can range from $500 to $2,000 (including a stipend for a coordinator, advertising costs, snacks, t-shirts, and incentives).
- A budget for a community-wide or district-wide (10 schools) Walking School Bus program with four daily routes that run all year can range from $30,000 to $60,000.
- To maintain their program (450 children/12 schools), PedNet budgets $50,000/year for staff time and direct purchases.
Staff: At a minimum, one full-time dedicated staff to act as Coordinator is needed to manage the program. This person’s role may include such responsibilities as:
- Planning and coordinating Walking School Bus program at 10-12 schools for 10-12 weeks each semester
- Increasing outreach to and walking school bus programs in public housing neighborhoods
- Planning and coordinating Walk to School Days in May and October as a strategy to increase participation in the Walking School Bus program
- Managing a team of independent Walking School Bus Liaisons
- Assisting with Bike Brigade programs
- Teaching pedestrian and bicycle safety classes
In addition, one volunteer per walking or biking route is needed to chaperone the walk or bike to school. If funding allows, a Walking School Bus Liaison at each school to coordinate and monitor the program is recommended.
Training: Volunteers need to be trained in pedestrian safety.
Materials: Flyers, posters, registration forms, letters (postage), maps, snacks, incentives, and Walking School Bus t-shirts.
Funding: Potential sources are a federal Safe Routes to School Non-infrastructure grant and foundation grants (such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation or a statewide foundation).