Bike to School
DOT's Bike to School program encourages students, families and educators to bicycle as a safe, healthy and fun way to get to and from school. Through the program, DOT works with schools and community groups to designate safe Bike to School routes, implement in-class curriculum and recommend street safety improvements.
Participating schools, selected through an annual competitive application process, commit to the program for three years. Throughout the duration of the program, schools will be supported by DOT and community partners from each neighborhood.
Streetfilms made this video about DOT's First Bike-to-School Day, held at MS 51 in Brooklyn in 2010.
Congratulations to this year's Bike to School winners. Each school will receive a $500 honorarium and support from DOT for three years to build a bike to school program as part of their school transportation plan.
- Bronx Leadership Academy, Bronx
- El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice, Brooklyn
- Mott Hall IV Middle School, Brooklyn
- Academy of Conservation and Environment, Brooklyn
- Bea Fuller Rodgers Intermediate School 528, Manhattan
Eligibility & Selection
All middle and high schools in the City of New York are invited to apply to the Bike to School program. Selection will be limited to five schools per year. Selected schools must make a three-year commitment to the program.
Schools selected to participate will receive a stipend of $500 at the beginning of the program.
- Responsive, engaged and enthusiastic communication is essential to coordinating a Bike to School program with multiple community partners. This includes email, conference calls and/or partner meetings throughout the school year.
- Participating schools designate one dedicated representative, either a teacher or administrator, to lead their Bike to School effort. This staff person should be comfortable organizing and coordinating with community partners and volunteers to inspire students to ride to school.
- Schools must assist DOT with route planning, siting bike racks and estimating the number of participating students.
- Participation is a year-round commitment, and includes a curriculum with in-classroom discussions of multi-modal transportation as well as special and recreational events.
- Successful participation also depends on parental involvement to advocate for a safer school environment and successful Bike to School program. The successful participating school will involve the PTA and Parent Coordinator.
- The school must be able to identify and work with community partners such as local volunteers, community organizations, bike shops and others to organize and promote ensure a Bike to School events.
- Schools must also find community partners helpful with the creation a cycling club or team, or commuter bike trains to support Bike to School rides.
- Schools must also allow for photographs and/or video to be taken and published to track and promote the program.
- DOT provides a starter kit of materials, including design templates, signage, liability waivers, curriculum materials and resource guide.
- DOT and the school create a coordinated route design, a selection of streets for riding safely and efficiently to school.
- With siting assistance from the school, DOT installs a bike rack on school grounds.
- DOT provides continuous support, including a curriculum taught by qualified instructors and a helmet fitting and giveaway event at the school.
- The school hosts a Learn to Ride event, where children can practice their cycling skills, conducted by DOT or a partner agency.
- The school recruits volunteers and establishes community partnerships to encourage active ridership in the school district.
- DOT holds a helmet fitting event and provides limited support while schools participate more independently.
- With limited DOT support, the in-classroom curriculum continues, supplemented with special assemblies and outdoor events by school staff.
- The school holds coordinated voluntary rides and activities such as cycling club, rides or commuter trains.
- DOT holds a Helmet Fitting event and evaluates the Bike to School program.
- Schools independently teach curriculum without DOT support.
- The school holds a bike parade to publicize successful program implementation.
Applications for the next Bike to School round will be accepted in the Fall of 2013.