EMERGENCY INFORMATION FDOT Emergency Travel Alert: For information on the current situation, please visit the following page - Alerts.

State Safety Office

State Safety Office / Programs / Safe Routes to Schools

Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS)

Picture of Crosswalk Sign

What is Safe Routes to School?

Kids wearing helmets while riding bikes.Welcome to Florida’s Safe Routes to School site. Safe Routes to School is a growing movement that has taken hold in communities throughout the United States. The concept is to increase the number of children who walk or bicycle to school by funding projects that remove the barriers currently preventing them from doing so. Those barriers include lack of infrastructure, unsafe infrastructure and a lack of programs that promote walking and bicycling through education/encouragement programs aimed at children, parents, and the community.

The Federal SRTS Program was established in August 2005 as part of SAFETEA-LU. Section 1404 of this legislation provided funding (for the first time) for State Departments of Transportation to create and administer SRTS programs.

In July 2012, Congress passed a new transportation bill: Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). Beginning in October 2012, Safe Routes to School (SRTS) activities became eligible to compete for funding alongside other programs, including the Transportation Enhancements program and Recreational Trails program, as part of a new program called Transportation Alternatives.

Select this link for more information about MAP-21.

What about Safe Routes in Florida?

Walking or biking to school gives children a sense of freedom and responsibility, allows them to enjoy the fresh air and provides opportunities to get to know their neighborhood while arriving at school alert, refreshed and ready to start their day. Communities and community-based organizations are devoting increased attention to pedestrian and bicycle safety issues in an effort to improve the conditions for walking or biking to school.

 Bike to School Day

Florida’s Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program can help communities address their school transportation needs and encourage more students to walk or cycle to school. It strives to enable and encourage children in grades Kindergarten through High School, including those with disabilities, to walk and bike to school; to make walking and biking to school safer and more appealing, and to facilitate the planning, development, and implementation of projects that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and improve air quality in the vicinity of schools. In addition to encouraging more children to walk or cycle to school, the program also seeks to address the safety needs of children already walking or biking in less than ideal conditions.

A successful program integrates safety, traffic relief, health, environmental awareness and physical activity and fitness under one program. The program encompasses routes and techniques used to encourage children to walk or cycle to or from school. We encourage schools, local transportation officials and other qualified groups to cooperate and apply to meet some of the identified needs, while they address other identified needs locally or through other methods.

Schools interested in the program should begin the planning and organizing effort as soon as possible. Successful SRTS programs rely on close cooperation among school and municipal leaders, parents, children, organizations and individuals dedicated to improving their communities and promoting safe bicycling and walking. Visit our Starting SRTS page for some useful tools and guidance, and contact your local coordinator to set up a meeting with a local task force.

Local SRTS Contacts

Florida Department of Transportation
District One
801 North Broadway Avenue
Bartow, FL 33830
  David Jones
Pedestrian/Bicycle Coordinator
(863) 519-2247
Florida Department of Transportation
District Two
2198 Edison Avenue
Jacksonville, FL 32204-2730
  Jeff Scott
District Safety Engineer
(904) 360-5644
Florida Department of Transportation
District Three
1074 Highway 90 East
Chipley, FL 32428
  Michael Lewis
District Safety Engineer
(850) 330-1266
    Barbara Lee
(850) 330-1428
Florida Department of Transportation
District Four
3400 West Commercial Blvd
Ft Lauderdale, FL 33309
  Yujing “Tracey” Xie
District Safety Engineer
(954) 777-4355
Florida Department of Transportation
District Five
719 South Woodland
Deland, FL 32720
  Anthony Nosse
District Safety Engineer
(386) 943-5334
Florida Department of Transportation
District Six
1000 NW 111 Avenue
Miami, FL 33172
  Misleidys Leon
District Safety Engineer
(305) 470-5345
Florida Department of Transportation
District Seven
11201 N. McKinley Drive
Tampa, FL 33612
  Matthew Weaver
District Safety Engineer
(813) 975-6254
Florida Department of Transportation
Central Office
605 Suwannee Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301
  Sarita Taylor
State Safe Routes to School Coordinator
(850) 414-4098

Starting your SRTS Program

The SRTS Program is unique in its overriding emphasis on community participation in the development and implementation of projects and programs. Community participation involves the public, schools, parents, teachers, children, local agencies, the businesses community, key professionals, and others in the development of proposals. The resulting safety solutions are comprehensive, integrated and sustainable.

The basic steps to follow when starting a local SRTS program are as follows:

  1. Bring the right people together. Identify people who want to make walking and biking to school a safe and appealing alternative. Ideally, representatives from the 5 E’s will be included.
    1. Engineering – Local county or city engineer - Creating operational and physical improvements to the infrastructure surrounding schools that reduce speeds and potential conflicts with motor vehicle traffic, and establish safer and fully accessible crossings, walkways, trails and bikeways.

    2. Education – Teachers - Teaching children about the broad range of transportation choices, instructing them in important lifelong bicycling and walking safety skills, and launching driver safety campaigns in the vicinity of schools.

    3. Encouragement – PTA or School Staff - Using events and activities to promote walking and bicycling.

    4. Enforcement – Local Law Enforcement - Partnering with Local Law Enforcement to ensure traffic laws are obeyed in the vicinity of schools (this includes enforcement of speeds, yielding to pedestrians in crossings, and proper walking and bicycling behaviors), and initiating community enforcement such as crossing guard programs.

    5. Evaluation – Designated person - Monitoring and documenting outcomes and trends through the collection of data, including the collection of data before and after the intervention(s).

  2. Hold a kick-off meeting.
    1. Create a vision for your SRTS program.
    2. Generate the next steps to take.
  3. Gather information and identify issues. This will be used to create a School Travel Plan for mapping out how to improve pedestrian and bicycle travel to and from school, increase the number of students walking and biking to school, and to improve safety.

  4. Identify solutions. Each issue identified will have a unique solution to address it made up of the 5 E’s.

  5. Student Travel Plan will identify short term solutions for immediate action and implementation as well as long term ones that may require further planning.
    1. Where students currently walk and bike
    2. Where students would walk and bike if they could
    3. What changes need to be made so that students can and will walk and bike to school
  6. Get the plan and people moving. Take advantage of opportunities that can be implemented with little or no cost while waiting for other parts and keep the big picture in mind.

  7. Evaluate, adjust and keep going. As the program is implemented, monitor the impact it is making and the effectiveness of each strategy. Keep on with ones that are working well and modify those that are not providing satisfactory outcomes.

Application Guidance

Eligible Applicants

The SRTS program is for the benefit of public, private and tribal schools serving Kindergarten through High School. Applicants will need to partner with a Maintaining Agency. A Maintaining Agency is a government agency which is able to:

  • enter into a legal agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation
  • design and/or construct the project in accordance with all federal requirements,
  • provide the initial funding for the project before being reimbursed, and
  • maintain the completed Infrastructure project.

Generally, Maintaining Agencies will need to be Local Area Program (LAP) certified, since most SRTS projects are done through LAP Agreements. The District has the option of developing alternate ways to get the projects completed, including designing and/or building the project in-house, contracting for these services, or buying equipment such as bike racks or traffic engineering equipment for the locals to install and maintain. Contact your District for more information on how your District is handling these matters.

Project Eligibility

Eligible Projects - This is not a comprehensive list of eligible projects. It is to be used as a guide.

The following types of projects are eligible under Florida Guidelines:

Pedestrian Facilities: Includes new sidewalks and other pathways, sidewalk widening and sidewalk gap closures, all on the public right of way. All of these facilities must include ADA ramps and meet other ADA requirements. Short pedestrian bridges may be able to be funded. Improvements to routes leading to bus stops.

Bicycle Facilities: Includes bicycle parking facilities such as bike racks; shelters and bike lockers on school grounds. These may be purchased for placement of public school property, but not on private property. This means these facilities cannot generally be placed on private school grounds, through there may be special cases. School Boards normally prefer to install racks themselves on school property.

Traffic Control Devices: Includes new or upgraded marked crosswalks, pavement markings, traffic signs and signals, flashing beacons, bicycle-sensitive signal actuation devices, pedestrian countdown signals, pedestrian activated signal upgrades, and all other pedestrian and bicycle related traffic control devices. Generally these are included as part of a larger bicycle or pedestrian facility project instead of as stand-alone projects. (Note: For any traffic control device that requires minimum ‘warrants’ to be satisfied prior to their installation, warrant sheets must be attached to the application. Coordinate with the appropriate traffic engineering office on this.)

Traffic Calming: Includes roundabouts, bulb-outs, speed humps, raised crosswalks, raised intersections, median refuges, narrowed traffic lanes, lane reductions, full or half street closures and other speed reduction techniques. Generally these are included as part of an overall pedestrian or bicycle facility project. (NOTE: to be eligible, the primary benefit of the proposed traffic calming must be to benefit students biking or walking to or from school.

Ineligible Projects - This is not a comprehensive list of ineligible projects. It is to be used as a guide.

The following are examples of projects which are ineligible:

  • Purchase of right of way.
  • Sidewalks or other pathways on school property, which are the responsibility of the school board or private school.
  • Stand-alone curb ramps, which should be addressed with other funds to meet ADA requirements.
  • Stand-alone items that should be addressed by regular maintenance, such as pavement repairs, repainting of roadway markings or replacement of signs.


The SRTS Program is 100 percent funded, and is managed through the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) on a cost-reimbursement basis. Applications are submitted to the local FDOT District Safe Routes to School Coordinator. They can help you with questions.

The following measures are critical:

  • Projects will be awarded through a competitive process at the local FDOT level.
  • Applications are reviewed at the District level for compliance with SRTS Guidelines.
  • Applicants are encouraged to be as cost effective as possible so that more SRTS projects and programs can be funded.
  • Applicants must prioritize their requests and apply for no more than 5 projects during each Call for Applications.
  • These Guidelines list examples of eligible and ineligible SRTS projects and programs. Always check for the most recent version of the Guidelines, since they do evolve over time.

School-based SRTS Committee

Successful SRTS programs begin by developing a comprehensive SRTS plan for an individual school or group of nearby schools. This is done by bringing together the right people to form a school-based SRTS Committee made up of representatives from each of the 5E’s. The committee must include representatives from the affected school(s), not just from the school board or the school transportation section. The purpose of the Committee is to:

  • identify problems in and around the school, which are preventing students from walking or biking to school,
  • propose solutions to these problems, using the 5E approach, and
  • decide which solutions can be handled by the Committee and community resources, and which will require SRTS funding.

Applicants are required to form a school-based SRTS Committee which has had at least one advertised public meeting before their application is submitted. They are also required to report in the application the names, titles and E represented by each member of the Committee, and what has been discussed at each meeting.

A School-based SRTS Committee can be based on an existing committee like a Community Traffic Safety Team, a PTA/PTO committee or a School Safety Committee, but other members must be added so the final committee includes school and community representatives from all 5E’s. If one of these groups is used as the basis of a SRTS Committee, separate meetings (which can be before or after the regular group meeting) must be held to concentrate on SRTS planning. It is not acceptable to spend a few minutes of a regular committee meeting discussing SRTS and call it a SRTS Committee.

The Committee should include representatives from the school or schools, elected officials, Metropolitan Planning Organizations/Transportation Planning Organizations, appropriate county and city agencies, local neighborhood associations and non-profit organizations. It is important to involve the public and affected neighborhood associations in planning efforts so everyone will be on board if a project is selected for funding. If representatives of the PTA/PTO and affected neighborhoods are not included on the SRTS Committee, special meetings with these groups will need to be held to gain their support for proposed SRTS Infrastructure projects, as explained in more detail in the Infrastructure section.

Planning Tools

We recommend that applicants use the Florida Safe Ways to School Tool Kit as their planning process. The Tool Kit contains a process for forming a planning committee and creating and implementing a comprehensive Safe Routes to School plan. The Toolkit can be downloaded from: Florida Safe Ways to School Tool Kit.

Use the national data collection forms located under Evaluation on the website of the National Center for SRTS. The Student In-class Travel Tally and Parent Survey are required to be conducted 3 times during this process. The results must be submitted to the National Center for SRTS (NCSRTS) data base at least six (6) weeks before submitting your application, so you can include the required data summary charts from the NCSRTS as attachments to your application as well as summarizing the results in the body of your Infrastructure application or Non-Infrastructure information form.

  1. Before an application or information form is submitted.
  2. Shortly before a SRTS project begins.
  3. Three to six months after it is completed.

The results from these survey forms must be reported to the District FDOT office which is overseeing your project, as part of the final report on your project.

Notification and Administration

Applicants are required to list contact information on each SRTS application. This gives the Districts a point of contact if questions need to be answered or if modifications are needed to the application. After SRTS projects are reviewed and funding decisions are made, the District will notify each applicant of their proposal’s selection or non-selection. A representative from the District will also contact the designated local contact person to help him or her through the process of formalizing the agreement and completing the project or program.

Special Requirements

(Note: the following overview may not be all-inclusive.)

There are a number of Federal and State requirements that apply to projects under the SRTS program. Applicants must ensure that they are knowledgeable and able to follow these requirements.

Title 23: All projects funded by SRTS funds must comply with Title 23 requirements of the U.S. Code which include, but are not limited to, the Davis Bacon prevailing wage rates, competitive bidding, and other contracting requirements. Whoever carries out the construction (state, county, city, or consultant hired by any of these entities) must comply with all applicable Title 23 requirements. USDOT regulations are available at: USDOT Regulations.

(Note: Applicants must work with a Maintaining Agency such as a local government that has experience with Federal Construction Contracts in general, and Title 23 requirements in particular.)

As part of the Title 23 requirements, all SRTS projects must also comply with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations. Most SRTS projects will likely be eligible for categorical exclusion under the provisions of 23 CFR Sec 771.117 which recognize there is no significant environmental impact in the construction of bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

(Note: The categorical exclusion must be requested and granted; it is not automatic.)

Inclusion in TIP/STIP: All projects funded must be programmed in the local Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO’s) or Transportation Planning Organization’s (TPO’s) Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) if applicable, and the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). It is recommended that applicants for projects located in an MPO or TPO area work with their MPO or TPO to ensure local support and consistency with regulations.

(Note: the TIP is sometimes called the Comprehensive Improvement Program or CIP.)

Local Permits: Maintaining Agencies for SRTS projects or programs are responsible for any and all local permits relevant to their project. Applicant and Maintaining Agency personnel should work together to determine and acquire the required permits.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): SRTS projects and programs must be designed to reasonably meet the needs of persons with disabilities. In doing so, the project director for the SRTS project or program must comply with all applicable provisions of the ADA. National standards are available at: National ADA Standards, and information on Florida DOT’s ADA design standards are available at:  FDOT ADA Design Standards.

Infrastructure Projects

Basic Information:

Proposed Infrastructure or Engineering projects may be located on or off the state highway system. Infrastructure projects usually take longer to plan and implement. But when they are designed to correct an identified problem, they have a great potential to help more students walk and bike safely to and from school.

Public support for Infrastructure projects is mandatory. The public should be informed of the proposal through presentations at such groups as Neighborhood Associations, PTA/PTO’s and religious and community groups, as well as through writing articles and letters to the editor of local newspapers. The public should also be invited to attend the school-based SRTS Committee meetings during which the school-based SRTS committee discusses the project proposals. Although meetings of the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee and MPO are considered public meetings and should be part of the public involvement process, these meetings must be supplemented by meetings with the affected Neighborhood Associations or other neighborhood meetings, and meetings with the PTA/PTO’s for the affected schools, in order to ensure that those directly affected by the projects are informed and support the projects. Some proposed projects will allow students who live within two miles of their school to walk or bike to school, instead of being bused under a “hazardous” or “courtesy” busing program.

Eligibility for SRTS Funding

You will be asked to supply information on many of these items in your application. Important eligibility points to remember:

  • Proposed projects must be designed to meet an identified need that is preventing students from walking or biking safely to and from school.
  • Proposed projects must be within a two-mile radius of the participating school, and within the school attendance area. Generally, the closer the project is to the school, the more likely it will be to increase the numbers of students walking or biking to and from school, or to increase the safety of students already walking or biking to school. For instance, projects beginning within a half mile to one mile from the school are more likely to encourage students to walk or bike, than projects beginning farther away.
  • Proposed projects must be located on public property or on permanent public easements. Right of way issues must be resolved before applying. Make sure you have a clear right of way, and be ready to show the proof.
  • Use of traffic control devices must be consistent with the current Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), unless the applicant receives experimental approval from FHWA.

★ ★ Application Instructions ★ ★

Florida’s Infrastructure Application can be found on the FDOT Forms Website, Form number 500-000-30.

Complete all applicable sections of the Application and attach all required attachments. Failure to provide all required information may disqualify your application.

Deciding how many Applications are needed:

  • Generally, each school requires a separate Infrastructure Application.
  • If schools (or any two or more qualifying schools) are located close together and proposed improvements will benefit both schools, they may be combined in one Application. Information on any after school facility which also benefit from the proposed project can be included in the text of the application.
  • If there are multiple improvements requested for one school, they should be included in one application.
  • If an Applicant proposes improvements at two schools not in the immediate vicinity, two applications would be needed.

Proposals for the same treatment at multiple schools must be based on comprehensive school-based planning which has resulted in the proposals. “One size fits all” solutions generally are not effective for SRTS.

Project Evaluation and Selection

Eligibility Evaluation
Applications are reviewed by local FDOT SRTS Coordinator. A proposed project can be declared ineligible for several reasons, such as:

  • The Application was not received by the deadline.
  • The Application is not fully completed or is missing required attachments.
  • A comprehensive planning process was not completed before applying.
  • The required Tally and Survey were not completed before applying or is not attached.
  • The project does not comply with SRTS guidelines.
  • The project would interfere with or disrupt existing infrastructure or planned improvements.

Ranking Criteria
Some of the selection criteria are:

  • Completeness of the School-based SRTS Planning Committee.
  • Comprehensiveness of the SRTS planning process (including such tasks as addressing all 5 E’s of SRTS and consideration of various solutions to the problems identified.
  • Comprehensiveness of the public outreach process, including the affected neighborhoods and PTA/PTO organizations at affected schools.
  • High level of interest on the part of the school in supporting walking and bicycling to school, and willingness to participate fully in a comprehensive SRTS program.
  • The project does not comply with SRTS guidelines.
  • Demonstrated need and community support for the project.
  • Potential of the proposed project to increase the number of students walking and bicycling to school.
  • Potential to increase the safety of high numbers of students already walking or bicycling to school in hazardous conditions.
  • Identification of safety hazards and the potential of the proposed project to reduce child injuries and fatalities.
  • Potential for the proposed project to eliminate the need for hazardous or courtesy busing routes.
  • Potential for the project to complete a priority pathway, with connections to neighborhoods and public destinations like parks, other schools or libraries.
  • Demonstrated need for financial assistance to complete these priority pathway connections.
  • Constructability (including clear right of way)
  • Consideration and suggestion of alternative locations for projects facing constructability problems.
  • Ability of the Applicant or Maintaining Agency to complete the project, or a workable plan to complete the project another way.

Consideration is also given to other factors relating to the proposed project, which are deemed necessary to promote the pedestrian and bicycle safety of students in and around school areas.

Project Administration:

Unless the project is to be implemented by the FDOT District, Maintaining Agencies of selected projects will be required to enter into a contract with the FDOT. This contract generally takes the form of a LAP agreement. Any agreement used must contain language for all federally mandated regulations.

Important points to remember:

  • For projects on local roads, the Project Administrator’s agency must in most cases be LAP-certified in order to enter into a LAP agreement to design and/or build the project.
  • Projects must follow appropriate design criteria. Projects on the State Highway System must follow the criteria established in the Plans Preparation Manual (PPM) and the FDOT design standards. Projects on local systems should meet the minimum standards and criteria provided in the Manual of Uniform Minimum Standards for Design, Construction and Maintenance for Streets and Highways (Florida Greenbook). These documents can be found on FDOT’s Roadway Criteria web site.
  • The Project Administrator is required to pay initial project costs and submit progress reports and billings for reimbursement of direct costs, as described in the FDOT LAP Manual.
  • Any work performed by the Project Administrator prior to receiving written authorization to proceed is not eligible for reimbursement.
  • Indirect costs will not be reimbursed.
  • Please contact your District or designee if you have any remaining questions on the submission, selection and administration of SRTS Infrastructure projects.

Application Process

Application Process