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August 12, 2019

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Andrew Barth, 303-441-1032

Trip Tracker Program empowers elementary students and staff to make a positive impact in the community

Participants from eight St. Vrain Valley Schools elementary schools reduced car miles by 33 % compared to last year

Boulder County, Colo. - With record participation during the 2018/19 school year, Boulder County Transportation’s Trip Tracker program helped motivate students and staff at eight St. Vrain Valley Schools (SVVS) to positively impact their community’s health, safety, economy, and environment. The program incentivizes traveling to and from school using “green trips” such as carpooling, busing, biking, and walking. Green trips by participants earn them Tracker Bucks that can be spent at participating locally-owned businesses. Five green trips to or from school earns a participant one Tracker Buck, which is equal to one U.S. dollar. By partnering with locally-owned businesses Trip Tracker invests thousands of dollars into the Longmont, Lyons, Niwot, and Erie communities and surrounding areas.

For the 2018-19 school year, the program engaged participants from eight elementary schools: Alpine, Burlington, Central, Fall River, Longmont Estates, Lyons, Niwot, and Red Hawk. Even with a slight overall decrease in the population at these schools (due to nearby new school openings), the Trip Tracker program experienced impressive results:

Trip Tracker table of results

View the complete report for all schools during the 2018-2019 school year.

Trip Tracker participants are leading the way to a more environmentally-friendly Boulder County. By taking 117,178 green trips this past school year, more than 36,000 pounds of CO2 emissions and 28,067 car trips were reduced; thus, SVVS students and staff are directly contributing to Boulder County Commissioners’ Climate Action Strategic Priority as well as a number of other local municipalities’ climate action plans. Increasing green trips not only improves surrounding air quality and reduces emissions, but also mitigates unsafe congestion around schools. Reducing congestion made areas around participating schools more walkable and bikeable for participants and the surrounding community. Parents recognize that these effects speak for themselves, with one parent saying this about the Trip Tracker Program, “It’s a great benefit for families to encourage reducing car usage.”

Trip Tracker Logo

Trip Tracker also helps support healthy habits among students and staff. This year, participants walked more than 93.9 million steps to and from school, which is more than 23,000 steps per participant. Utilizing active modes of transportation improves mental and physical well-being along with concentration and readiness for learning. By spending more time outside exercising during their commute, students and staff reinforce or develop healthy habits that enhance their time at school. Parents support walking and biking to school as demonstrated by 80 percent saying their school encourages active modes to and from school, 77 percent say walking or biking is fun, and 96 percent say it is healthy for their child(ren). Other Trip Tracker parents state the program, “… is a good motivator for walking and bike riding” and “… has encouraged other families to walk/bike more as we have seen a lot more families on our way to school this year.”

Trip Tracker also benefits Boulder County’s local economy. Another Trip Tracker parent commented, “I think it [Trip Tracker] has a big impact on the way children think about managing their money and what to spend it on because they have decisions to make themselves.” As a result of the earned and spent Tracker Bucks, the program directly invested more than $10,400 into local businesses during the 2018/19 academic year through Trip Tracker Business Partner Tracker Buck buy-backs. By only partnering with locally-owned businesses, the program capitalizes on the healthy decisions made by students and staff, while furthering the community’s fiscal growth. Best of all, participants can choose where, when, and how to spend the Tracker Bucks awarded, putting money into the community that otherwise may not have been spent at these locally-owned locations. Trip Tracker is available within both the Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley School Districts, which combined offers more than 60 partnered businesses countywide. All interested locally-owned businesses are encouraged to contact the Trip Tracker Program for more information about how to partner with
or support participating schools and participants.

To learn more about Trip Tracker as the 2019/2020 school year kicks off, please visit or contact Cammie Piller Edson, Trip Tracker Program Manager and Youth Transportation Planner, at or 303-775-5297.