A Walking School Bus is a school bus powered not by an engine but by legs. Children don’t sit inside this ‘bus’ – they walk in a group to school, with an adult ‘driver’ in the front and an adult ‘conductor’ at the rear. The walkers are the bus. At the bottom of this page are links to download the WSB participation certificate, participation pledge and a parent interest survey.
This is how the bus works:
- The bus travels along a set route to or from school, picking up or dropping off children along the way at designated ‘bus stops’. Bus stops can be meeting points along the route or each child’s front gate.
- The service is free. All primary school age children are welcome to join the bus, even if their parents aren’t able to be drivers.
- The size of the bus depends on the number of accompanying adults: 8–12 children with two adults is common. There are a maximum of 10 children for every adult on each bus.
- The bus can go as seldom or as often as volunteers want to ‘drive’ it and parents and children want to use it. Volunteers agree on a schedule/timetable.
- The bus operates rain, hail or shine. Volunteers make decisions about cancelling the bus in adverse weather conditions.
- Safety on the bus is of high importance. The route therefore is thoroughly checked for traffic hazards, and children and adults often wear bright vests to be easily seen.
- The Walking School Bus travels the safest and most convenient route for its passengers. Routes can vary in length but are usually a maximum of 30 minutes or around 2km. You can use the Safe Routes to School activity to choose the route.
A Walking School Bus doesn’t just benefit children or schools. It has benefits for the wider community as well. A Walking School Bus offers positive and healthy travel choices to our children and builds the skills, health and experiences of people in our community.
The Department of Transport does not provide personal liability insurance for any teacher, parent or other volunteer participating in a Walking School Bus. Such persons are advised to consult their own insurer to determine if their existing insurance policies provide coverage for participating in a Walking School Bus and, if not, consider whether to obtain a policy of insurance covering their participation in a Walking School Bus.