Exploring Bike Bus Programs in the United States

John MacArthur, Portland State University



The trip to and from school is made by nearly every child in Oregon every school day. Bike and walk buses, or organized groups of school children, parents, and ride/walk leaders, seek to encourage biking and walking to school. Aside from mitigating some of the negative effects of parents driving kids to school (such as traffic congestion in school zones, increased air pollution, including greenhouse gases, and safety risks), bike and walk buses provide benefits to kids such as physical activity, which has been associated with improved academics and behavior, and offers potential for positive social interactions, and learning about bicycling, traffic safety and navigating their communities. 

The objective of this study is to gather information and data on current bike bus programs in the US. As part of this research, the research team will develop information about bike buses (what they are, where they are, how they work,) along with a library of references to them in local, national and international media (such as newspaper articles, blog posts, and videos.) The first phase of the study will be to collect information on current programs. We will collect data on school specific programs and launch a data collection tool to allow volunteers to record the number of students and parents riding on a specific day. The project will deploy surveys and interviews to document the experiences of parents and children participating in bike buses in the Portland area, including stated motivations, perceived benefits, and challenges.

Project Details

Project Type:
Project Status:
In Progress
End Date:
December 31,2025
UTC Grant Cycle:
NITC 16 Round 5