Student Transportation Equity for Priority Populations (STEPP) Tool
The Student Transportation Equity for Priority Populations tool was developed to support equitable scoring during the Safe Route to School grant application process. The STEPP tool uses a variety of metrics related to reaching priority populations and allows grant applicants to quickly look up the equity score for schools identified in their application.
Through the 2020 MnSRTS Strategic Plan engagement process, we heard from Minnesota communities that centralizing equity should be a priority for the MnSRTS program. The Strategic Plan includes strategies that strive to achieve equitable outcomes by developing and distributing tools, resources, and funding that prioritize communities who are more likely to rely on walking or biking for transportation, are more vulnerable to unsafe traffic conditions, or have experienced historic disinvestment.
One outcome of those strategies was the development of the STEPP tool, that helps prioritize investments with a score that is not subjective. The equity score uses seven indicators to identify priority populations in Minnesota, providing a picture of higher need for Safe Routes to School assistance. In order to be more equitable in the allocation of resources, MnSRTS will award application points based on these measures.