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OC Walk

OC Safe Routes to School Program

The Orange County Safe Routes to School Program fosters a transportation system where students can safely access schools by walking, biking, or other active modes of transportation and facilitates safe and confident use of active modes of transportation.

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What Is Safe Routes to School?

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is an initiative to encourage safe walking and biking to school. Most SRTS programs incorporate the six “E’s”: engagement, equity, encouragement, education, evaluation, and engineering. OC SRTS Program focuses on five of those “E’s” to provide non-infrastructure programming and activities to schools.

  • Engagement: SRTS programs collaborate with school stakeholders to work with existing organizations and groups and create ongoing partnerships.
  • Equity: SRTS programs benefit all students, with particular emphasis on communities that have been historically underserved.
  • Encouragement: SRTS programs encourage students and families to walk and bike to school through activities and events.
  • Education: SRTS programs teach students and families safe walking and biking skills and about the benefits of walking and biking.
  • Evaluation: SRTS programs are be assessed to determine which activities were most successful and which should be improved for future programming.

Engineering is typically a part of SRTS programs that include an infrastructure component to physically alter streets to make walking and biking more comfortable and safer.

Program Background

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), in partnership with the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA), completed the Safe Routes to School Action Plan (SRTS AP) in 2021. The SRTS AP outlines initial goals, strategies, and actions to create and manage a countywide SRTS program. Through this process, the agencies jointly developed and supported a recommendation to establish a countywide SRTS program to support schools in need of SRTS programming. In Fall 2023, OCTA and OCHCA established a SRTS program in Orange County, continuing both agencies partnership. The SRTS AP also included the establishment of a Stakeholder Committee that will “serve as a resource to program staff and will play a central role in actively promoting and implementing this Action Plan.” Committee members will cultivate relationships to foster collaboration in the SRTS community, which continues to build a culture of safety for the Countywide SRTS program along with OCTA’s Next STEP (Safe Transportation Education Program) and Orange County Health Care Agency’s (OCHCA) Injury Prevention for SRTS and future programs.



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