How much will you save if you walk or bicycle to school every day of the year? What if you walk or bike once a week or once a month? Savings can mean much more than just money. By choosing to walk or bike to school you can take advantage of many benefits to your health through physical activity, the environment by reducing the amount gasoline used and emissions released into the air, and you can save money both directly by not using as much fuel and indirectly through the benefits of walking or biking to school.
Enter numbers in the Safe Routes Calculator below to learn how much you can save by walking or biking to school:
Enter your own trips, miles, and speed to see how much you will save
Find how how much your whole family will save--enter the total trips and average trip length for everyone in your family
Figure out how much your whole class will save
Figure out how much your whole school will save
Figure out how much our entire state will save
Figure out how much our entire country will save!
The average elementary school student walks about 2mph and bikes about 8-9mph.
The average middle schooler walks 3-4mph and bikes 10-12mph.
About half of school students ride a bus to school; the average distance from home to school for school bus students is about 5 miles.
Most of the other half of students live within walking distance and their average distance to school is between 3/4 mile and 1 1/4 mile.
The typical elementary school in Florida has around 625-675 students and the typical middle school has 900-950 students.
There are about 2,587,500 students in Florida schools, Pre-K through 12th grade.
There are about 55.4 million K-12 school students in the U.S.
There are 180 days in a school year (minimum, by Florida state law), so if you walk or bicycle to and from school every single day that makes 360 trips.
To figure out the savings for your entire class, school, state, or country, you'll have to do some multiplication.
The Center for Disease Control recomends children and adolescents should get 60 minutes (1 hour) or more physical activity a day.
For instance, to figure out the savings for an entire school:
300 students * 50% in walking/biking distance * 180 days * 2 trips per day = 54,000 trips in a year
Let's assume 90% walk and 10% bicycle. That is 48,600 trips by walking and 5,400 trips by bicycling
Average distance: 1 mile
Average speed of 2 mph walking or 8 mph bicycling
Put those numbers into the forms above and see what the answer is.
Add the bicycling and walking totals together to get the grand total. It's a lot!
Fuel savings assume the average U.S. automobile/light truck mileage of 20.3 miles per gallon; adjust if your mileage is higher or lower.
Fuel and pollution calculations assume that a driver is making a round trip to pick up and drop off one child; adjust if you are carpooling with two or more students or not making a round trip.
"Other pollution" includes carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, and volatile organic compounds, all of which contribute to smog and/or poor air quality; conversion rates are provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Your total benefit and savings include benefits to both you and your community: Savings in fuel, maintenance, and other consumable/per-mile automobile costs, congestion savings (up to 50% of traffic congestion at school start/end times is caused by trips to school), savings in the environmental cost of pollution and CO2 emission, health benefit to you of bicycling and/or walking to school, and enjoyment/recreational benefit of bicycling and/or walking to school. Explanation of the calculations, the numbers, and research backing them is available in an Excel file.
Nicole Albright: Web programming
Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation/Missouri Safe Routes to School Network (mobikefed.org): Research, calculation formulas, web programming
The East Central Florida Regional Planning Council would like to thank the Missouri Bicyle and Pedestrian Federation and Missouri Safe Routes for making the original code available for this application.
East Central Florida Regional Planning Council: Web programming(Adaption for Central Florida) and Additional Images
Car Exhaust: Microsoft ClipArt
Glob: Microsoft ClipArt
Money: Wikipedia public domain
WTSD and SRTS logos: National Center for Safe Routes to School
Gas can: Clipart Graphics/Public domain
"Hike it, Bike it, I like it" logo: WalkToSchool.org.
Stopwatch: Microsoft ClipArt
Florida Image: ECFRPC
As per Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation: You may install the bike/ped calculator on your own web site and modify/adapt it for your own use, as long as you include the created by, credits, and photo credits sections above. Note that some of the photos & graphics are restricted to non-commercial use only. Download .zip file. This will allow you to access the original source code made available by the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation. To recieve the Central Florida Safe Routes additions please contact the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council. Thank you.