Safe Routes to School

 

Transportation Alternatives SRTS Program Grants 

Virginia SRTS is a statewide program, but did you know cities, towns, counties, and other jurisdictions can have their own SRTS program? At the local level, SRTS practictioners coordinate events, run education programs, solve safety issues, and do other work to support students walking and bicycling. Local programs are able to curate their activities and advocacy to their community. They often partner with nearby non-profits and bike shops.

Check out the SRTS Starter Kit to begin or grow your local program.

 Important Links 

Non-Infrastructure Grant Procedures
Non-Infrastructure Grant Guidelines
Program Plan Template
 (Word)
Program Dashboard (Excel)   
      Budget Worksheet (Excel)

Transportation Alternatives Program Guide 
Local Match FAQs (Updated 2/2021)

2023 Program Grant Application Timeline (for 2024-25 and 2025-26 School Years)

Anticipated dates for next round:

  • Applicant Workshopers - Spring 2023
  • Pre-application Due - July 1, 2023
  • Full Application Due - October 1, 2023
  • Notification of Award - June 2024
  • Grant Period Begins - October 1, 2024 

What is a SRTS Program Grant?

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program Grants are competitive grants offered on a two-year cycle that can be used to fund activities at K-12 schools that enable and encourage more students to safely walk and bike to school. Program Grants can be used to fund a SRTS Coordinator staff position. A SRTS Coordinator is a part- or full-time SRTS advocate who works within a local jurisdiction, school division, or non-profit organization to promote and facilitate SRTS activities at a minimum of three schools.

SRTS Program Grants are reimbursement grants that are administered at the local level. The period of performance is 24 months. Awards are based on a competitive application process, with funding reserved for strong applications that are well-developed, i.e., including mapping and budgets; impacts large numbers of students; and are schools that strongly support walking and/or bicycling to school.

Refer to the SRTS Program Grant Guidelines for more detailed information. 

Who can apply for SRTS Program Grants?

The entities who may apply for funding include:

  • Schools (public and private)
  • School divisions
  • Local Governments (cities, counties, or towns)
  • Regional and state agencies working on behalf of a school or schools 
  • Non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations working on behalf of a school or schools 

Notes:

Due to the federal funding source used for Program Grants, applicants are rewuired to provide a local match of 20% of the total project cost as part of their budget. For more information regarding the local match requirement, refer to the Local Match FAQ or the SRTS Program Grant Guidelines. 

Applicants should have experience administering federal grants, and per VDOT policy must have a full-time staff member complete a series of required training modules. More information on the training modules is available on the Local Assistance Division's TA Set-Aside webpage.

Find more information on the administrative requirements in the SRTS Program Grant Guidelines. 

How to Apply for a SRTS Program Grant 

The first step in applying for a SRTS Program Grant is to create a Program Plan. The Program Plan is the first phase of any SRTS effort and outlines a school or community's intentions for making active travel to and from school safer and more sustainable. It's a great way to organize programs, projects, and people in support of SRTS. A good Program Plan takes several weeks or more to develop. Once complete, the Program Plan also serves as a workplan for the school's or division's SRTS program.

The Program Plan consists of the Program Plan Template (a Word document) and the Program Dashboard, a separate Excel document that provides additional details on schools, issues, and proposed activities. (If using Google Sheets, please follow this tutorial to open the Excel document and add it to your drive).

During each application period, program staff (LTACs) are available to review draft Program Plans for completeness. The Program Plans will be reviewed in the order they are received, and a response will be provided within two weeks of the request. Each application period will include a deadline for Program Plan review. Any Program Plans received after the deadline will be reviewed as time and resources allow.

Once complete, applicants should submit their Program Plan as a PDF as an attachment to the required pre-application along with the other required information.in the SmartScale portal

The full Application is the second step in applying for a SRTS Program Grant and focuses on the details of your funding request. Program Plans, Program Dashboards, Letters of Interest, and information submitted through the SmartScale portal are all assessed as part of the grant review and award process. Higher scores will be given for complete, well developed applications.

What types of programs and activities are eligibile under a TA SRTS Program Grant? 

The Program Grant is framed around five Program Building Blocks, including a foundation—Equitable and Sustainable Program—and four pillars—Safe Streets, Welcoming Campuses, Safe Behaviors, and Supportive Culture. These components support more students safely walking and biking. Program Grant applicants should consider all five Building Blocks. Learn more about the building blocks and example activities in this document. Some examples of eligible activities that are often part of a SRTS program are listed below.

; Only the types of programs and activities identified as “Activities” in the Program Plan will be eligible for funding. If an applicant seeks funding for a program or activity that is not included in the corresponding Program Plan, the application will not be considered as written. If you are unsure as to whether a certain program or activity is eligible, please refer to the Program Grant Guidelines or contact the Virginia SRTS Coordinator

Equitable and Sustainable Program

  • Hire a SRTS division coordinator
  • Establish a division-wide SRTS steering committee
  • Deliver presentations on SRTS to school PTA/PTO groups
  • Provide support/resources for annual student travel tallies
  • Provide support/resources/coordination for a division-wide bike camp for students with disabilities
  • Conduct a division-wide equity assessment

Safe Streets

  • Work with local government to ensure that key walking and biking routes to school are included in its transportation plans, maintenance budgets, and capital projects 
  • Establish a system for reporting and addressing infrastructure-related pedestrian and bicycle safety concerns
  • Provide support/resources/coordination for annual or biannual walk audits to note ped/bike infrastructure deficits near schools

Welcoming Campuses

  • Provide support/resources for student safety patrol program
  • Provide direct assistance on arrival and dismissal procedures to schools that request it
  • Assess bicycle parking needs and provide support for procuring bike racks
  • Educate principals regarding school division liability policies pertaining to walking and bicycling to school and SRTS activities

Safe Behaviors

  • Provide support/resources for bicycle safety/skills education (e.g., bicycle rodeos)
  • Provide support/resources for pedestrian safety/skills education
  • Provide support/resources/coordination for anti-bullying or anti-harrassment training for students who walk/bike to school
  • Provide support/resources for traffic gardens

Supportive Culture

  • Provide support/resources for Walk to School Day, Bike to School Day, and/or Crossing Guard Appreciation Day
  • Provide support/resources for a frequent walker/biker program or mileage club
  • Provide support/resources for establishing remote drop-off locations and park & walk programs
  • Provide support/resources for walking school buses and bicycle trains

SRTS Program Grant Recipients to Date

Click here for a list of SRTS Program Grants funded from 2007-2019.

Page last modified: Oct. 10, 2022