The Bay Area has been a national leader in Safe Routes to School programs since 2000, when Marin County received one of the nation’s first pilot study grants from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2005, Congress established a national Safe Routes to School program, and the State of California also began its own program.
Safe Routes to School programs help achieve the region’s climate change goals required under California’s Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 (Senate Bill 375). Through the Climate Initiatives Program, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) established a Bay Area Safe Routes to School Program and distributed funding to the nine counties according to their school enrollment. Several counties have supplemented this funding with regional gas taxes or vehicle registration fees, while other cities and counties have received support from the statewide California Active Transportation Program.