An innovative Australian-first active travel program delivered by Sunshine Coast Council and which uses smart technology to encourage students to ride to and from school was launched at Baringa State Primary School today (November 21).
RideScore Active Schools utilises Bluetooth technology to provide real-time notifications to parents when their children arrive at or depart school.
The incentive-based program combines student engagement, skills training and education to deliver behaviour change across the school community.
The program is a partnership between council and We Ride Australia and is supported by Sport Australia’s Move it AUS program, the Queensland Government and Stockland.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said RideScore, which will be rolled out in nine Sunshine Coast schools, offers numerous benefits to students, families, schools and communities.
“RideScore encourages school students to be more physically active and healthy by riding their bikes or scooters to and from school, which in itself is a great thing,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“By encouraging more students to utilise active transport, RideScore also helps to reduce traffic and congestion around schools and provides parents with greater peace of mind by knowing their children have arrived safely at school or have left school to ride home.
The Bluetooth reader is located at the school’s bicycle storage area and reads a beacon attached to each student’s bike. It then sends a push notification or message to the registered email each time the student passes the reader with their bike.
“Council’s Travel Behaviour Change team has done a terrific job over the last three years to develop a successful trial of RideScore technology into this comprehensive program.
“RideScore has also been heavily supported by Australia’s peak sports governing body, Sports Australia, which awarded the program a $225,000 grant in 2019.
“RideScore aligns with the Sunshine Coast Integrated Transport Strategy, which encourages the use of sustainable, safe and efficient transport methods within our growing region.
“As part of this strategy, council is investing more than $3.8 million in the coming year to expand and improve pathways and cycling facilities across our region.
“This great initiative really highlights our vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region – healthy, smart and creative.”
We Ride Australia Executive Officer Peter Bourke said the program emphasised the importance of making the trip to school more active, more often.
“This is the first time all these key elements have been brought together to encourage behaviour change across the school, engaging students, parents and teachers,” Mr Bourke said.
“Riding and scooting to school with RideScore Active Schools is one of the easiest and most efficient ways school children can exercise as part of their daily routine.
“Once we have evaluated the outcomes from the first nine schools, we will have an effective program framework that can be rolled out, not only across the Sunshine Coast, but much further afield.”
- The RideScore program is scheduled to commence in February 2020.
- Nine Sunshine Coast schools are set to participate across the region.
- Baringa State Primary School
- Bli Bli State School
- Brightwater State School
- Buddina State School
- Caloundra State School
- Chancellor State College
- Coolum State School
- Meridan State College
- Peregian Springs State School
- RideScore uses smart tech beacons to provide real-time notifications to parents of arrivals and departures to and from school.
- The program provides maps showing students the best routes to school and offers incentives and prizes to participants for active transport milestones.