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Federal Program

The Safe Routes to Schools Program (SRTS) is a federal program of the US Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). It was created by Section 1404 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users Act, referred to as SAFETEA-LU.

SRTS is funded at $612 million over five federal fiscal years – FY 2005- FY2009 – administered by state departments of transportation.

This federal program provides funds to the states to substantially improve the ability of primary and middle school students to walk and bicycle to school safely.

The purposes of the program are:
  • to enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school;
  • to make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age; and,
  • to facilitate the planning, development and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption and air pollution in the vicinity (approximately two miles) of primary and middle schools (Grades K-8).


Each state administers its own program and develops its own procedures to solicit and select projects for funding. The program establishes two distinct types of funding opportunities: infrastructure projects (the planning, design and construction of engineering improvements) and non-infrastructure related activities (such as education, enforcement and encouragement programs).

More detail on eligible projects, as well as program set-up is provided in FHWA’s SRTS Program Guidance Document.

New Jersey Safe Routes to School Program

New Jersey will receive approximately $15 million for the SRTS program in fiscal years 2005 - 2009. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) is applying the new funding to advance SRTS activities throughout the state.
  • Education and Training Programs
  • Promotion and Support Documentation
  • Competitive Grant Programs
A Technical Advisory Committee has been guiding the development of a statewide Safe Routes To School (SRTS) program in New Jersey since 2003. It is comprised of representatives of the NJ Departments of Transportation, Health, Education, Law & Public Safety and Community Affairs.

Other participating institutions include the Voorhees Transportation Center of Rutgers University, several Transportation Management Associations, municipal police departments, school administrators, boards of education, parent-teacher associations, the American Automobile Association, mayors and advocates.

In January 2004, NJDOT released the findings of a study (pdf 3m) on the development of a SRTS program for New Jersey.

The file referenced in the paragraph above is in Portable Document Format (PDF). You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this file, which is available at our state Adobe Access page.

Following up on the study, NJDOT focused its efforts on developing web-based tools and educational materials. In 2005, on-site workshops were held at three SRTS Demonstration Schools. Parent/student surveys were completed along with action plans for each school.

A one-day retreat was held in March 2006 for a task force of state, regional, local and national experts to define a framework and structure for the NJ SRTS Program. Efforts are currently under way to advance the action items that were identified at this retreat, including the NJ SRTS Program Funding Application, a guidance document, technical resource materials and Regional Awareness Clinics.
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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  October 26, 2011