October 1, 2022

La Ronge Northerner

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School transport is a revolutionary system

Reprimanded for walking to school. What torture!

I admit that my first reaction was paradoxical, after reading that Lanadier’s children were forced to walk to school without school transport (lack of drivers).

“Forced to walk long distances”, some students “miss school”.

One mother lamented that she had to walk 30 minutes in the evening and in the morning. I didn’t answer at all, “This is good exercise, isn’t it?” “.

“Pro”

Then I felt guilty, I remembered my “dependencies” on a Bobo urban fifty-year-old, and was a little interested in physical activity.

It made me forget the incredible time when children could represent the duty to go home and go home; Then tour again in the evening.

Of course, there are situations where you can not think of walking because you are in the countryside, you live 30 km away from school or due to health issues.

Driving is often unavoidable.

Solutions

There is a solution to the shortage of drivers.

Christine Labrie, QS Education spokeswoman, proposed different approaches to urban and rural areas yesterday.

High school students in the city should be encouraged to use public transportation. This will free up time for school drivers and can carry elementary school children and adolescents living in areas with poor municipal traffic.

Walk

But let me come back to my “dependencies”: after all, walking should not be excluded. Part of the shortage of drivers may even be an opportunity to seize.

I had a discussion yesterday with Sandrine Cabana-Degani, director of Piétons Québec: It is horrible that fewer and fewer students are going to school.

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Many data (admittedly a little old): “In the Montreal area, between 1998 and 2003, the average distance between school students dropped from 550 to 480 meters”.

In 2011, researchers estimated that only 30% of elementary school students went to school.

In 2015, the Globe and Mail Toronto is titled “Be Violative This Year: Encourage Your Kids to Walk to School” (Be rebellious this year and let your kids walk to school)

The benefits of daily walking are innumerable: our youth need to be active! By walking between home and school, they develop autonomy, socialization, and knowledge of their environment.

Many adults over the past decade have understood this. Companies set up “pedibuses” and other “trotibuses”, many of which include “walking buses” and allow group travel between home and school, under the supervision of an adult.

At this time everything is done on a voluntary basis. “We pay drivers, why not pay mentors for these kinds of endeavors,” Sandrin Cabana-Tegani suggested.

Finally, to bring children back to school, it is imperative to make the sidewalk safer. Because they are less, more children are being brought in the car. And because there are more cars, the environment is safer.

This is the vicious circle of motorization.