DOT Spends $1 Billion to Get Kids to Walk to School

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
DOT Spends $1 Billion to Get Kids to Walk to School

The U.S. Department of Transportation spends nearly a billion dollars a year to schools who start "walking school buses."

Remember when you walked to school uphill both ways? Bet you didn’t know that if you did that today the federal government would pay you for it.

Under provisions of the federal Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS), the U.S. Department of Transportation “provides Federal-aid highway funds to State Departments of Transportation” to make sure kids get to school safely.

An Associated Press (AP) article describes the program’s application:

For a growing number of children in Rhode Island, Iowa and other states, the school day starts and ends in the same way — they walk with their classmates and an adult volunteer to and from school. Walking school buses are catching on in school districts nationwide because they are seen as a way to fight childhood obesity, improve attendance rates and ensure that kids get to school safely.


Many programs across the country are funded by the federal Safe Routes to School program, which pays for infrastructure improvements and initiatives to enable children to walk and bike to school.

As if cribbed from some darkly humorous novel about the silliness abounding in a dystopian socialist America, the goals of the SRTS published by the Department of Transportation are galling. The DOT explains:

The 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:

1. to enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school

2. 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

3. 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 2 miles) of primary and middle schools (Grades K-8).

How much does the Obama administration dole out to states who hire these fat-busting “drivers” of these 21st century “walking school buses?”

According to data published in 2012 by the U.S. Department of Transportation, over $1 billion in money plundered from taxpayers is devoted to this unconstitutional aspect of the nanny state.

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