SAN DIEGO–SchoolPool – a secure online ridematching service administered by San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) for parents with children in kindergarten through 12th grade – is now established at 52 schools throughout San Diego County, up from 40 last year.
As parents gear up for another school year, it’s not too late for them to take advantage of SchoolPool. Parents who live in districts where school bus services have been cut can turn to SchoolPool as a transportation solution. SchoolPool matches parents with children who attend the same school and live in the same neighborhood, so they can share responsibilities for getting their children to school. SANDAG is now enrolling schools and parents in SchoolPool for the 2011-2012 school year.
In addition to ridematching, SchoolPool helps parents connect their children with bike buddies and walking school buses – groups that ride their bikes or walk to school together with one or more adults.
Parents who use SchoolPool to find bike buddies or walking school buses can receive a free helmet for each child who bikes and a free baseball cap for each child who walks. All children who either bike or walk can receive reflective backpacks. Safety vests are provided for parent leaders. These supplies will be given out while they last, so parents should sign up for the program as soon as possible.
In addition to free gear, for the first time SANDAG is providing safety trading cards in Spanish and English to SchoolPool participants. The brightly-illustrated cards, commissioned by SANDAG specifically for SchoolPool, feature kooky characters that teach children how to avoid traffic hazards and follow safety rules. There are 12 cards total, six in each package. Children are encouraged to trade them with each other to get the full set. The cards have fun, alliterative titles such as “Footloose Fool” and “Misleading Meanderers.” The Footloose Fool card tells children to always look at all driveways and stop at all curbs. The Misleading Meanderers card shows bicycle riders how to use hand signals to let people know they are turning or changing lanes.
All public and private elementary, middle, and high schools within San Diego County are eligible to join SchoolPool. A list of those already signed up is available at www.iCommuteSD.com.
Interested parents should contact their children’s school and ask for the transportation coordinator to sign them up for SchoolPool. If a school is not a participant, school staff can enroll in the program by calling 511 and saying “SchoolPool” when prompted. An iCommute employee will help set up a secure network at the school for free.