Earlier in the month, the School District of Philadelphia announced a series of budget cuts that would take place this fall. One of the proposed budget cuts would have reduced the number of students eligible for SEPTA TransPasses. In the past, students living more than 1.5 miles from their neighborhood school received a TransPass; the proposal was to increase this distance to 2 miles. When the Bicycle Coalition heard about the District’s plan to change the rules about which high school students receive TransPasses, we started putting together a guide for high school students who want to use the bicycle as a primary means of getting to and from school. Late last week at a School Reform Commission meeting Superintendent Hite withdrew the proposed budget cut to TransPasses. We are glad that thousands of high school students will still have access to their SEPTA TransPasses. That said, we still think that biking is the best way to get around and we want to work with high school administrations and students to encourage bicycling to and from school. Our staff and volunteers can partner with high school administrators and students to reduce the barriers to bicycling to school. Helping schools obtain secure bicycle parking, recommending the safest routes between home and school, and educating students about safe urban riding practices are the top three ways we can assist. We have compiled some of the most pertinent information that schools and students need to start bicycling to school: Bicycle Coalition High School Resources

To all of the youth out there who already bike to school, let us know! Share this blog post on Facebook and Twitter or Instagram a picture of your and your bicycle (please no snapping selfies while riding). Use the hashtags #bikePHL and #bike2schoolPHL

Meade students with mayor

Students from Meade School’s bicycle club ride alongside Mayor Nutter during Bike to Work Day 2013. (Note: we cannot promise that Mayor Nutter will escort you to school just because you start bicycling, but we can promise you will have more fun on your commute than ever before!)

The Bicycle Coalition can assist high schools in the following ways this fall:

How to Classes

  • Urban Riding Basics provide guidance for biking in the city through helpful tips on everything from Philadelphia and Pennsylvania bike laws; proper bike safety measures, bike maintenance, and convenient biking gear.
  • Fix a Flat class teaches simple “do it yourself” flat fixing skills such as basic wheel anatomy, and tube patching.

Route Planning

  • BCGP will help students map out the safest routes to school by identifying bike lanes, street sharrows, and other bicycle related facilities to make their commute to school safe, easy, and fun.
  • BCGP can also assist students in starting Bicycle Trains, which are a group of students biking to school, stopping at predetermined stops along the route to pick up other students.

Bicycle Security

  • Identify neighborhood schools needing bike racks and work with the school district to get racks installed where needed.
  • Consult with schools on the best practices for setting up indoor bike rooms so that students can store bikes safety.

Affordable biking

  • Identify discounts for students needing bike maintenance or bike safety equipment such as helmets.
  • A cost comparison of SEPTA v. bicycling

For more information or to get these programs in your school, contact rebecca@bicyclecoalition.org

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