From San Francisco to Scotland, the “bike bus” movement is spreading across the world — now children can ride together in the safety of a highly visible, rolling enclosure.
The Bike bus is brilliant!
A bike bus is a brilliant way to support and encourage primary-school children to cycle to school, giving them the experience of cycling on roads, with the safety of being directed by adults and surrounded by other cyclists.
Barcelona bike bus scheme: health and safety on the school run
Weather permitting, it’s always more stimulating for kids to ride their bikes to school. Moreover, it’s a fun way to get some fresh air and exercise. But with more traffic on the roads than ever, it can be a daunting prospect for parents to consider. However, in Barcelona there’s a simple yet effective way to get children pedalling safely to school. They call it Bicibús,(literally ‘bike bus’). The “bus” itself consists of a rolling caravan of children riding to school, encircled by a number of cycling parents who act as chaperones and ride leaders.
How it works
At the start of each week, organisers post a route so parents can bring their kids to join the ride on their way to school. It’s not just for one school. but several in the area. This way kids from a variety of schools can ride together in the safety of a highly visible, rolling enclosure. Many on the Internet thought it was a great way to keep kids safe, but wondered how it would be received in other places of the world.
Source: Cycling Magazine
Bike buses showing up from San Francisco to Scotland
The bike bus system has popped up in San Francisco. In the same fashion, parents will escort a group of children to school. By creating a large, visible group, they take over roadways for the kids, creating a rolling enclosure that is safe and effective. In Shawlands, Scotland, the bike bus movement is such a success that they’ve even made a map to co-ordinate pick-ups (see below).
Source: Cycling Magazine
a potential solution for anywhere experiencing school bus shortages?
Zach Klein, co-founder of Vimeo who uploaded the Barcelona Bike Bus clip to Twitter, has connected this trend as a potential solution anywhere where cities are experiencing school bus shortages, suggesting that it might be a solution in Seattle, which is currently undergoing a school bus shortage.
In Barcelona, the bike route was done with the eventual support of local police, which provides an escort throughout the route. “And after a two week trial, the police wanted the movement to end,” Zach explains. “But the Bicibús parents persisted. For now, the police will provide escort until December. After that, who knows.”
The idea behind the “Bike Bus” is pretty genius. Not only does it help solve the problem of transportation to school, but it also encourages kids and their parents to be active and provides a real vision of cities across the world becoming a little more car-free.
GUIDE TO SETTING UP AND RUNNING A BIKE BUS
A bike bus is a brilliant way to support and encourage primary-school children to cycle to school, giving them the experience of cycling on roads, with the safety of being directed by adults and surrounded by others cycling. This informal guide provides tips and advice to help you set up your own bike bus; please tailor your plan to meet your school’s specific needs.