It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Never has this over-used nugget been more true than for the lucky kids in Rouen, France who get to ride a revolutionary bike-bus to school with their friends.
This terrific transportation vehicle is aptly named the S’Cool Bus because, hello, it’s awesome! The bus is fuelled by its kid passengers (aged 4 through 12) pedalling, along with a trained volunteer to steer. What could be s’cooler than that?
Well, there’s more. It’s free for parents, comes with adjustable seating, safety side netting, and even an electric motor that takes over if passengers need a brief rest.
The benefits are huge. The S’Cool Bus promotes physical activity and co-operation. And gets kids moving at a time of day that they are often sitting passively in a car. This is a huge win because studies show that kids who are active before school have better attention span and focusing skills.
But here’s the best part: it’s so much fun kids won’t have any idea how good this is for them. Which means you’ve totally achieved the parental dream: getting your kids to be healthy without coercion, bribery, or blackmail. Just imagine.
The concept was launched in the Netherlands where there are already 20 bike-buses roaming the streets with happy passengers. Other programs have been launched in Belgium and Germany to great success. France is even talking about creating a bicycle-bus for adults!
Admittedly, this sort of transportation may not work everywhere, but we can take some inspiration from the idea and make the trip to school active and fun for our kids, whether they are biking, running, riding, walking, jogging, or on a skateboard or scooter.
The Law of Children may dictate that kids will fight going to school some mornings, but if you encourage yours to take the active route, there’s no telling what wonderful paths that will lead to.