McDonald, N. C., Barth, P. H., & Steiner, R. L. (2013). Assessing the Distribution of Safe Routes to School Program Funds: 2005-2012. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 45(4), 401-406.
BACKGROUND: The federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program was launched in 2005 to increase the safety of, and participation in, walking and biking to school. PURPOSE: This study assesses SRTS awards made between 2005 and 2012 by analyzing funding amounts and purposes, and comparing demographic and neighborhood characteristics of schools with and without SRTS programs. METHODS: The study analyzes all SRTS projects awarded between 2005 and 2012 using descriptive statistics (n=5,532). Analysis was conducted in 2013. RESULTS: The average SRTS award was $158,930 and most funding was spent on infrastructure (62.8%) or combined infrastructure and non-infrastructure (23.5%) projects. Schools benefiting from the SRTS program served higher proportions of Latino students and were more likely to be in higher-density areas. Few differences existed in neighborhood demographics, particularly educational attainment, work trip commute mode, and median household income. CONCLUSIONS: This analysis found that schools benefiting from the SRTS program are more urban and have higher Latino populations but are otherwise comparable to US public schools. This suggests that disadvantaged areas have had access to the SRTS program.