In a Barcelona neighborhood, a convoy of kid cyclists glides down a car-free street as part of the city’s “bicibus” scheme to encourage green transport and physical exercise.
The children take to the streets every Friday in the city’s Eixample neighborhood, picking up other kids along the circuit and dropping them off at their schools, as a traditional bus route would work. The roads are closed to traffic to make sure the young riders are safe, and parents often join in, sometimes carrying younger children in bike seats.
The program, which was rolled out in September, has been so popular that other countries have replicated it.
In San Francisco, for example, Several dozen families and children rode through city streets — mainly using John F. Kennedy Drive through Golden Gate Park, which has been fully closed to traffic during the pandemic. The communal ride operates similar to a school bus, with bikers joining along a route that takes kids to school.
SF father Peter Belden, who organized the ride, said it’s the first-ever bike bus in the city.
“There were almost 30 people in the bus, and I think the next one will be double or triple,” said Belden, whose 13-year-old son joined the bus. “It’s so positive and fun for everyone. There were two kids who joined the ride, friends of my son, whose parents had meetings, and they were allowed to ride along. They hadn’t ridden their bike to school before, but because it was a bus, they felt safe doing it.”
Belden said he was inspired by the bike bus, or bicibús, that started during the pandemic in Barcelona and made national news.
“It started with 5 families. Now hundreds are biking to school together in Barcelona,” an NPR headline read.
Similar projects exist in other cities such as Dublin – “Ireland” and Buenos Aires – “Argentina”.
So far, it’s proven popular among the pint-sized participants. “Parents tell us that Friday is the day when they have the least difficulty to wake up their children,” said Genis Dominguez, 40, whose children participate in the Bike Bus and go to school in Eixample – “Barcelona”.
You can find more footage below: