Smart Commute for Schools

Smart Commute helps Upper Valley schools improve the way students and staff travel to school. Our goal is to increase the number of students and staff who take the bus, walk, bike, or carpool to school and:

  • Promote sustainability within the school
  • Lower environmental impacts and conserve resources
  • Build good transportation and exercise habits
  • Save money
  • Minimize traffic in town and around the school

Success Stories

How We Can Help

What is Smart Commute?

Smart Commute creates a tailored commuting program designed to meet the goals and interests of your school community. Starting with a short, online survey, we establish baseline data on commuting habits and then develop a sustainable commuting plan and work with you to implement it.

Project Deliverables

  • Sustainable Commuting Plan including:
    • Free strategies like internal promotions, walk-and-bike to school days, Way to Go! commuter challenge
    • Low-cost strategies like bike racks and bike repair kits at school
    • More ambitious, long-term options like infrastructure improvements
  • Tools to connect carpoolers
  • Annual surveys to track savings
  • Ways to engage students and parents

Is it Affordable?

Vital Communities offers Smart Commute at no cost thanks to the support of the U.S. Department of Energy, The High Meadows Fund, Canaday Family Foundation, Vermont Agency of Transportation, and our many member organizations and individual donors.

Contact us by email or call Aaron at 802.291.9100 x111 to get your school involved.

Participating Schools

Lebanon School District
Frances C. Richmond Middle School
Marion Cross Elementary School
Hartford Memorial Middle School
Ottauquechee School

Resources

VERMONT SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL
Learn how to enroll as a partner school and browse their downloadable toolkits, curriculum materials, and web-based seminars on the Program Resources page
NEW HAMPSHIRE SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL
Learn how to enroll as a partner school and apply for startup grants
BIKE SKILLS AND LOANER PROGRAM FOR SCHOOLS
Local Motion is a Vermont-based nonprofit that promotes people-powered transportation and recreation
DISCOUNT BIKE HELMETS FOR SCHOOLS
Schools are eligible to purchase discounted bike helmets from Safe Kids Vermont. Contact Krissy Keating at 802.847.2291 or by email
WALK AND BIKE TO SCHOOL DAY
National Center on Safe Routes to School’s page on how to organize bike and walk to school days
HOW TO ORGANIZE A BIKE-WALK EVENT
This resource from Massachusetts Safe Routes to School includes a walkability and bikeability checklist and other resources
GO! VERMONT
Vermont’s website to connect commuters with carpools, vanpools, transit information, and bike and walk information
FEDERAL SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL
 
NATIONAL CENTER ON SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL
 
SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP

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Vital Communities Program News

Read our blog

Staff

Bethany Fleishman

Transportation Program Manager

Transportation

 802.291.9100 x 111

Transportation

— Bethany Fleishman, Transportation Program Manager

Bethany Fleishman was born at the old Mary Hitchcock hospital in Hanover, N.H., grew up in West Hartford, Vt., and now lives in Hartford Village, where she can see the White River and the trains from her window. She has a biology degree from St. Lawrence University and has worked in public health outreach, as a line cook in San Francisco, a pastry chef in Hanover, and as a member of the Town of Hartford Selectboard. She serves on the board of directors for both Advance Transit and Upper Valley CarShare and is a lifelong bike commuter.



Paige Heverly

Energy and Transportation Project Coordinator

Transportation, Energy

 802.291.9100 x 114

Transportation, Energy

— Paige Heverly, Energy and Transportation Project Coordinator

Paige Heverly joined Vital Communities in 2017 as the Energy and Transportation Project Coordinator. Hailing from the suburbs of Philadelphia, she moved to Vermont in 2011 and earned a joint BA in Renewable Energy and Ecological Design and Environmental Studies from Green Mountain College. After completing her Master of Energy Regulation and Law from Vermont Law School, Paige worked in energy efficiency consulting in Portland, Oregon. Her love of local food systems, the White River, and the Green Mountains brought her back to the Upper Valley to work on regional issues with localized solutions. Paige is passionate about closing ecological loops and treating waste as food. In her free time, she enjoys baking homemade English muffins, weeding her garden, and writing letters to her pen pals.