Transport Theory

Bicycle school bus changes transportation in the Netherlands

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A bicycle built for 12? This Dutch bicycle bus includes eight sets of pedals for children, a place for an adult driver, and a bench for three children to enjoy a free ride.

A bicycle built for… 12?

Nearly half of all workers in the Netherlands commute by bicycle, and now schoolchildren can also get their exercise. One Dutchman has used simple technology in a revolutionary way to redesign the classic yellow school bus further greening mass transit.

Along with the tulip and the windmill, the bicycle symbolizes Dutch culture and the Netherlands. Cycling is a core element of a Dutch lifestyle, and the capital Amsterdam is often voted on of the best biking cities in Europe.

The eco-friendly bicycle bus includes eight sets of pedals for children, a place for an adult driver, and a bench for three children to enjoy a free ride. The pedaling seats are designed for students aged 4 to 12.

The average speed of the bicycle bus is 10 miles per hour, but a backup motor is included to compensate for fatigue or challenging hills. The bus structure retails for approximately $15,000, and around 25 bicycle buses have already been made in several colors in addition to the traditional yellow. Added features include a rain cover and a music player.

The bicycle bus is sold by the De Cafe Racer, which has also exported similar group style bikes to neighboring markets in Belgium and Germany. The designer of the school bus, Thomas Tolkamp, adapted the idea from a previous group bicycle design called a “beerbike” – a group bike complete with a bar.

Photo: Bicycle Design

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Megan Kenna

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Megan Kenna is a freelance writer based in Brussels, Belgium. She has written for Forbes.com, The Baltic Times and Public Service Europe. Previously, she worked in maritime law, volunteered for the United Nations and taught English in China. She holds degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and Boston University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure