It’s a bus, pedaled by eight children aged 4 to 12 and one adult, designed to get to school or go on a trip together. Top speed 15 kph, sound system, electric drive for the hills, and a canvas awning for rainy days. Yea, Holland! Built by Thomas Tolkamp, who has sold 25 of the bus-bikes so far, though none outside Europe. Cost $15,000. This shows what’s possible when you’ve got a safe network of off-road bike lanes.
Cycling in Holland
In Holland, 40% of primary school and 75% of secondary school kids bike to school, some as far as 20 km each way, because their parents know it’s safe. In Assen, 41% of all journeys are by bike – in Groningen, it’s 60% of all trips. Groningen’s main railway station has bike parking for – get this – ten thousand bicycles. Back in 1964, Groningen was a normal car-dominated city. In 1972, a new local council changed the planning emphasis, making the city centre the ‘living room’, and integrating town planning with transport policy. Today, 40 years later, 78% of the residents and 90% of employees live within 3km of the city centre.
The average speed for cycling is 14.2 kph, while for cars it is 9.6 kph.