The City of Pleasanton and the Pleasanton Unified School District have partnered to bring Rides to School, one of the City’s traffic calming programs. Through this partnership, we hope to ease some of the traffic challenges we face at schools within City limits.
The program’s goal is to help parents find alternatives to driving their child to school, thereby reducing traffic congestion that currently exists during the morning and afternoon pick-up periods. Commute alternatives such as walking, biking, carpooling for all grade levels and public transit for middle and high school students can help alleviate congestion. Forming pools such as bike, car or walk pools, can give families more options in their child’s school trips. Parents can take turns leading pools and therefore, take a break from doing it every day. When dropping off or picking up your student, please adhere to the School Drop-off & Pick-up Procedures outlined by each school. Procedures and maps are available at your school office or on the school website.
Please remember to drive cautiously at all times and continue to be particularly vigilant during the school year when students are walking and riding bikes to school.
This program includes:
Taking the Bus to SchoolIf you are new to riding the bus, here are some bus riding basics to get you started.
Wheels School Trippers
Taking Wheels School Trippers can be a win-win for middle and high school families and our community. The Livermore Amador Valley Transportation Authority, known locally as Wheels, is partnering with us to help transport your students to school with special routes that serve middle and high schools.
School Tripper Routes are conveniently coordinated with school hours and provide your middle and high school student with a safe, convenient and eco-friendly travel option. Make a better choice for your family, our schools and the community!
For more information on Wheels routes and schedules, call (925) 455-7500 or go to www.wheelsbus.com.
Student Transit Pass Program (STPP)
The Alameda County Transportation Commission offers a Student Transit Pass Program (STPP) which provides free youth Clipper Cards to eligible middle and high school students in Alameda County which can be used for unlimited free bus rides on Wheels buses, as well as a 50 percent discount on BART trips and youth discounts on other transit systems.
Go to the STPP website to find out if you’re eligible and apply.
Walking & Biking
In most communities, school-related traffic accounts for about 20 percent of morning peak hour traffic. This can be greatly reduced if parents and students walked or bike to school, rather than drove their cars. Walking and biking to school can be the healthiest ways to travel to school since your child is getting their daily exercise in and they don’t even know it! Like adults, kids need exercise, at least one hour of physical activity every day. Regular exercise helps children:
- Feel less stressed
- Feel better about themselves
- Feel more ready to learn in school
- Keep a healthy weight
- Build and keep healthy bones, muscles and joints
- Sleep better at night
Walk and Bike to School Days
These annual events promote pedestrian and bicycle safety and help improve air quality and community involvement. Walk to School Week is generally held at all elementary schools in the month of October. Events encourage students and families to walk to school and are greeted with morning refreshments beginning 30 minutes prior to the first bell at each school.
October is Walk and Roll to School month
Join your classmates and walk to school during the month of October! The City of Pleasanton and Pleasanton Unified School District are partnering with Alameda County Safe Routes to School to celebrate Walk to School month. Pleasanton schools are celebrating Walk to School days on late-start Wednesdays throughout the month.
Morning refreshments will be served at elementary schools 30 minutes prior to the bell (refreshments provided only at elementary schools). Thank you to all the parent volunteers that make these events possible!
Check with your school office on upcoming walk events.
Funds for this program are provided by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s Transportation Fund for Clean Air and the Alameda County Transportation Commission in cooperation with the City of Pleasanton.
Walking Safety Tips
- Encourage your child to help choose the safest place to cross the road.
- Practice stopping at the curb, looking left, right, left, listening for traffic and making eye contact with drivers.
- Find all the traffic signs and roadway markings on your route.
- Talk about what these words and symbols mean.
- Talk about ways your child can avoid or minimize dangers along the route, i.e., driveways, parked cars, strangers, etc.
- Observe people walking, cycling, driving or riding cars.
- Talk about the safe and the risky things you see.
- Talk with your child about the buildings, people, animals, landscaping, etc. on your walk.
- Discuss the ways your walking trips benefit your health, safety and quality of life.
Biking Safety Tips
- Make sure your student’s bike is in good condition before riding. Look over the bike, especially for properly inflated tires, to make sure everything is set for their ride to school.
- Always wear a bike helmet AND make sure it fits properly. A helmet should fit snug and always snap the straps.
- Be aware of traffic. Stop. Look left, right and left again before leaving a sidewalk or driveway.
- Enter traffic only when the road is clear.
- Stop at all intersections, marked or unmarked to make sure a car is not approaching.
- Obey the “Rules of the Road” and use hand signals before turning.
- Ride with traffic, never against it. Children may ride on the sidewalks but be on alert for pedestrians and cars backing out of or entering driveways.
- Use hand signals when you stop or make a turn.
- Concentrate – stay in control.
- Stay to the right. Ride single file as far to the right side of the road as possible.
- Prevent bicycle thefts. Carry a lock and use it.
Student Safety Valet Program
The Student Safety Valet Program was created in 2001 to improve the safety of students who are dropped off for school or picked up to provide a more fluid motion of vehicular traffic. This program is designed so the parent will not need to park or exit their vehicle in the drop-off area. 5th grade students volunteer as Safety Valets. Membership on a patrol helps develop attention to duty, alertness, dependability, leadership qualities and a sense of social obligation.
Each elementary school has a pre-designated location for families to drop-off their children called the “school drop-off area.” The school drop-off location is typically located in the front of school and outlined with paint. See your school’s website for detailed drop-off procedures.
How the Program Works
- Student valets are stationed along the drop off area, wearing bright orange/yellow vests holding “PULL FORWARD” signs.
- Drivers pull into the drop-off area and drive as far forward as directed by student valets in order to use the entire length of the curb available.
- When cars come to a complete stop, valets open the passenger door for students to exit or enter the vehicle and then close the vehicle door.
- Cars are directed to pull forward and exit the drop off area.