Opportunities and challenges for active school travel

ONE OF the largest public transit infrastructure projects in Toronto is the building of Metrolinx’s Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit (LRT). It aims to create better connectivity for public transit users and take cars off one of the city’s busiest streets.

In recognition of some of the unique opportunities and challenges the project presents, Metrolinx has partnered with Green Communities Canada to facilitate active and sustainable school travel in schools affected by the building of the Crosstown LRT.

Once completed, the Crosstown LRT will give students who live too far away to walk to school the option of travelling by public transit part of the way, and parents who currently drive their children to school on their way to work the option of travelling with their children via public transit.

However, in the interim, construction brings about its own challenges to the school journey, as traffic patterns change and new safety concerns arise in nearby school zones.

GCC and Metrolinx will work together with city planners, traffic engineers and local school communities to ensure any potential negative impacts on school travel are minimized, while working toward healthy changes in how students and other members of school communities get around.

The project is a pilot test of best ways to engage school communities in transit construction projects. The project team looks forward to sharing the outcomes of this exciting work as it gets underway.

For more information, please contact Laura Zeglen, School Travel Planning Facilitator for the Eglinton Crosstown schools, lzeglen@greencommunitiescanada.org.

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