Families who go to school together by bicycle: this is how a 'bicibus' is organized

Cycling to school safely is easy thanks to the bicibus. The idea is to organize parents and students to travel to school by bicycle at the same time, occupying the road like a squad, which gives the little ones more security. The initiative, which was already working in other European cities and in Madrid –where the Colegio Montserrat has applied it for years-, landed in Catalonia in the small city of Vic and in a short time it is spreading, first through the Osona region, and now through the capital and cities of its metropolitan area: Gavà, Sant Cugat, Sabadell … and even Igualada, Amposta or Lleida. The school that has launched the project in Barcelona is Reial Monastir Santa Isabel, in the Sarrià neighborhood, in the upper part of the city. One of its teachers, Yago Raventós, explains how the project works and the keys to extending it to other centers.

School involvement. “The bike It must count on the families of the center, who will coordinate the project ”, points out Raventós. Based on the needs of the families, a route is started and, if it is successful, it is proposed to open others. A mobile application created by Vic’s project allows families to communicate before every Friday, the day on which the bike.

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Drivers, reviewers and material. In each bike there is a parent, monitor or alumnus who opens the route, called the driver; and another who closes it, the reviewer. “No one can be left behind and there must also be two or three adults stopping traffic if the traffic lights of cars on other streets turn green, because the bike it always gets longer and it is important that the group does not split in two ”. The necessary equipment seeks visibility: reflective vests, lights in front and behind, and a bell, which “is worth ringing”. Bicycles are parked at the school and, in this case, the next year the City Council will give them a lot to be able to park, because space in the center is limited.

Training. A minimum road training will be necessary for adults, children and also families when they are incorporated. On the traffic ordinance, the minimum standards of the DGT, how to signal turns, the need to circulate in the middle of the road … and even “how to react in a friendly way if a driver gets upset.”

Lower revolutions. There is a theory that the best bike path is a pacified street. And it is just what happens with him bike, which carries out some sections by bike lane, but the rest by 30 streets (streets limited to 30 kilometers per hour). “With the bike motor traffic slows down ”, celebrates Reventós. “When people see a group of cyclists who are children they do not whistle, people slow down and understand that nothing happens to lose another minute on the journey.”

Change mobility habits. The sustainability commission of this pioneering school in Barcelona understands that “the bike it will serve to raise a few pinions and it will be a vector of change, because just as changes are taking place in consumption, they will take place in mobility ”, assures Reventós. In this case, in addition, “the autonomy and responsibility of the students is promoted, ties between families are strengthened, community is woven and benefits the city, because we reduce the heat wave that causes the temperature to rise.”

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