Evaluate Student Travel and Transportation

  • Students have many options for getting to school. It is important to understand their travel habits. Beginning in the spring of 2015, BPS has evaluated how students get to and from school through a process called “Hand Tallies”. This simple tool provides the district with critical information about how students arrive at school, and can be matched to expectations of travel such as those eligible for busing. Over time, this information helps to evaluate the effectiveness of the Safe Routes to School program and its communication efforts, and it helps prioritize program efforts based on the culture at a given school.


    How do Hand Tally Results Help Schools?

    If a school has a high population of walkers, then that school can prioritize educational programming to enhance the safety behaviors of these walkers. Pedestrian safety training can be offered through the Physical Education classes, or through lessons in the classroom. On the other hand, if a school finds that many students arrive in a family car, it can be helpful to support these families with simple options for walking to school (such as finding a location to park the car and walk from) so that their students arrive ready to learn. Schools with high volumes of traffic may need to address drop off and pick up procedures, or consider ways to calm traffic by the school so that walkers and bikers can approach easily.

    What’s Happening in BPS?

    Travel hand tallies have been conducted in the Spring of 2015, and the fall and spring of SY 2015-16 and SY 2016-17. Results can be found here:


    Evaluate your Students!

    Schools can assess the percentage of walkers in each classroom with this Student Hand Survey that was used over the past few years. Schools also have the opportunity to register with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation SRTS Program (simply fill out the partnership form here). Doing so enables schools to receive funds and support to administer and assess transportation habits through a Parent Survey.