In September, the Dutch Cycling Embassy (@Cycling_Embassy) tweeted a video of a new way for children in the Netherlands to get to school.
The Bicco Bike Bus is a large group bike designed to allow one adult driver to easily transport ten children with only pedal power.
This four-wheeled vehicle was designed by Tolkamp Metaalspecials in partnership with after-school childcare center Struin in Nijmegen, Netherlands, and it is much smaller and lighter than a traditional bus. Each seat is equipped with a set of pedals, letting the children work together to propel the bus while getting exercise.
This clever approach prompted city planning consultant Brent Toderian (@BrentToderian) to imagine a world where Bike Buses are the norm.
What if every city had “Bike Buses” for kids going to school & daycare? What if safe, protected bike infrastructure made them easy? From Nijmegen NL, a #BikeBus developed in partnership with an after-school childcare. HT to great folks at @Cycling_Embassy pic.twitter.com/xWaFz1gQDu— Brent Toderian (@BrentToderian) October 31, 2022
The video shows around 20 children in three vehicles: the original Bicco Bike and two smaller bike buses. They pedal peacefully past several other cyclists sharing Nijmegen’s beautiful bike paths — a detail that Toderian doesn’t miss. “What if safe, protected bike infrastructure made [bike buses] easy?” he asks.
One obvious benefit of more widespread use would be safe, regular exercise for school-aged children.
According to the CDC, children ages eight to 10 spend an average of six hours a day in front of a screen and older children spend even more. In a world where children spend more time than ever indoors, daily exercise would be a healthy change.
Since these vehicles are smaller than cars and transport more children at once, they minimize traffic, too. And a bike bus also provides an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional buses and cars, reducing air pollution from gasoline. If bike buses were part of a general move toward cycling, the benefits would be even greater.
“Omg! I love that. Is there a 5-seater for families?” one person tweeted.
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