Officials with the Minnesota Department of Transportation are working to create Safe Routes to School for children that live within the state.  A grant program assures that funding is available for schools and their partners.

MNDOT is awarding grants in two different categories:  Infrastructure Implementation and in Planning Assistance.  Specifically with Infrastructure Implementation Grants, K-12 schools, in partnership with cities or counties, will receive grants to support infrastructure identified in Safe Routes to School planning efforts that improve safety or access for children walking and bicycling to school.  In regards to Planning Assistance, K-8 schools will receive expert assistance to complete a Safe Routes to School plan, which will analyze existing conditions, gather public input and identify potential infrastructure and non-infrastructure solutions. Planning grants are best for schools just getting started or looking to expand Safe Routes to School programs in their communities.

In total, $4 million dollars is available for infrastructure grants and $700,000 for planning grants for the 2015-2016 school year.

Deadline for the submissions is January 31, 2014.

Since 2005, MnDOT has awarded more than $15 million in federal funds to communities to support Safe Routes To School. The majority of funding was awarded for infrastructure projects. The remainder was allocated for non-infrastructure items and activities, such as Safe Routes to School planning, education, encouragement and enforcement.

In 2012-13, 105 Minnesota schools in 61 communities received funding.

Interested parties are asked to visit www.mndot.gov/saferoutes/