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Another bike bus

Fietsbus- a pedal powered school busMy recent post about the City Cycle “pedal-powered pub” generated a couple of comments pointing out similar vehicles. AJ mentioned that pedal powered buses like the “bierfiets” are already very popular in Holland. Like the City Cycle, the bierfiets looks like a lot of fun, but we all know that human powered buses can be more than just mobile pubs.

Jos sent me a couple pictures of a similar vehicle targeted to a different group of riders.This bicycle bus for children, made in the Netherlands by De Café Racer (the same company that produces the bierfiets) is just such a vehicle. Sure you could just give a bunch of kids a ride to school in a large bakfiets, but I love the idea of letting them pedal their way as a group. I can’t imagine seeing one of these in action here in the U.S., but maybe someday. I know that my kids would get pretty excited about riding one of these…and the same is probably true with most kids. It is only adults who sometimes forget the joy of getting around under their own power. It’s hard to see a vehicle like this though, and not be reminded of that feeling.

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18 Responses

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  1. Sebastian says

    I know about two bike buses in Berlin. One is like the beer bike and the other one you can take a look here: http://www.donbikes.com/berlin-conferencebike-berlin-bike-rental.html

    • James Thomas says

      Thanks, Sebastian. The Conference Bike is definitely the first group powered bike that most people think of. There seem to be more and more of them around these days, which I am really glad to see. I like the extra storage over the rear wheel in the one pictured in the link you referenced.

  2. David Hembrow says

    It’s very nice, but to go to school ? That’d be rather silly. Dutch children already ride to school. Virtually all of them every-day, and from the age of eight and a half they do so independently on their own bikes.

    Up to the age of 11 they usually have quite short journeys, but from 11 onwards it’s not unusual for them to cycle up to 20 km in each direction to get to and from secondary school.

    • James Thomas says

      David, silly perhaps, but not all that different than a regular school bus picking up kids at multiple stops. Granted, it might be logistically a bit tricky to get 10 kids on a pedal powered bus to ride to school, but it could be done. The adult driver would have to ride it to a central location for the first stop, and then pick up kids at additional stops before going on to the school. The reverse would repeat in the afternoon before riding the bike bus back to its storage location. Not impossible, but probably not really any easier than walking or riding a standard bike to school for many elementary age kids.

      According to the website, this bike bus is used to transport kids from school to after school care (at least that is what I gathered from the Google translation of the page). In that application, I think the bus idea makes sense. It is easier for the adult to keep up with the kids if they are all pedaling to the after school location together.

      …and thanks for those links. Quite interesting! My oldest started middle school this year, so after years of walking a half-mile to and from elementary school, he now rides the bus to school. I wish he could ride the 5 miles or so, but there is just not a good (safe) route that I would feel comfortable with him riding at that time of day. It’s a shame, but that is one of the factors that motivates me to work on local cycling advocacy issues.

  3. Ross Nicholson says

    Well, we have GPS, cell phone technology, and the state issues license tags to all vehicles. Some sort of transponder system would allow computer monitoring of all children on their way to school and alert the closest officer in light of difficulty. In addition to protecting school children, such a system could eliminate traffic delays by utilizing more of the road network already in place. Oh well, dream on.

  4. Peter says

    Next to the cargo bikes you also see some of these http://www.onderwaterfiets.nl/ bikes riding around in the Netherlands. Not as extreme as the cycling bus. But it is a safe and practical way to cycle your kids to school.

  5. Mick Allan says

    Awesome! Laws pertaining to the aquisition and use of children as motive power may vary between countries…

  6. Fenriq says

    Plus it has the added awesome benefit of looking a bit like a banana!

  7. Jennifer says

    Hi i will like to make a business like these back in my country. i will be interst in retail prices or if you work like that or help me out! Thank you .
    Guatemala, Central America

  8. Dennis says

    Hi pls is there any bicycle bus which can be pedalled only by the driver or a conversional kit will be better to speed the bike without passengers powering it, if it is possible for bicycle bus to be powered only by the driver what are the advantage or disadvantage of driver powering the bike instead of passengers. Anyway nice bike and love to access it thanks

Continuing the Discussion

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