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, Recycle-A-Bicycle, Bike New York, and additional community partners from each neighborhood. Participation is a year-round commitment, as it includes a curriculum with in-classroom discussions of multi-modal transportation, helmet fittings and giveaways, bike rack installation, as well as special community-building and recreational events. Options for additional programming and support can include bike fairs, school-based bike repair workshops, after school cycling clubs, Learn to Ride workshops, and bike safety assemblies.
Six schools have participated in this collaborative endeavor:
- El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice, Brooklyn
- Mott Hall IV Middle School, Brooklyn
- Bea Fuller Rodgers Intermediate School 528, Manhattan
- International High School at Union Square, Manhattan
- NYC Lab School for Collaborative Studies, Manhattan
- East-West School of International Studies, Queens
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.
- 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 via a school liaison designated by the Principal. The liaison can either be a member of the faculty or administration who leads the Bike to School effort for the school. The staff person should be comfortable organizing and coordinating with community partners and volunteers to inspire students to ride to school.
- Principal must commit to providing adequate time to conduct Bike to School programming in the classroom, auditorium, gymnasium, and/or school yard according to designated program activities.
- Schools must assist DOT with route planning, siting bike racks and assigning the number of participating students by grade/class sections or organized group such as extracurricular activity or club.
- 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 in promoting activities to engage the school community.
- Principal and program liaison must designate time each year for an annual evaluation of the Bike to School program.
- Participating schools must be able to identify and work with community partners such as local volunteers, community organizations, bike shops and others to organize and promote Bike to School events.
- Schools must find community partners to help create a cycling club or team to lead bike trains to support future Bike to School rides.
- Schools must obtain signed media releases from parents for photographs and/or video of the students that will be used to promote the program.
Year One Winter–Spring
- DOT provides a starter kit of materials, design templates, signage, liability waivers, curriculum materials and resource guide.
- DOT provides regular in-school support, using a Bike to School curriculum taught by qualified DOT, Bike New York, and Recycle-A-Bicycle instructors.
- DOT and the school select streets for riding safely and efficiently to school for future coordinated bike route design in the community.
- Participating schools are invited to attend an annual gathering of local youth bike educators and organizations in conjunction with Bike New York's Bike Expo.
Year One Summer–Fall
- With siting assistance from the school, DOT installs bike racks on school grounds.
- The school hosts a Learn to Ride event where children can practice cycling skills. The event will be conducted by DOT and partners. A helmet fitting and giveaway will be conducted at the Learn to Ride event.
- The school recruits volunteers and establishes community partnerships to encourage active ridership in the school district in second year activities.
- School creates action plan of program goals in the next two calendar years for effective Bike to School culture implementation at broader scale.
- With support from DOT, Bike New York, and Recycle-A-Bicycle, school staff teaches the in-classroom curriculum, supplemented with special assemblies and outdoor events conducted by school staff and partner agencies
- DOT works with the school to coordinate a special bike event with partner agencies, where students can practice their cycling skills. A second helmet fitting and giveaway event will be conducted in conjunction with this event
- With DOT assistance, the school will conduct other related training events for school staff.
- The school holds coordinated voluntary rides and activities such as cycling club, rides or commuter trains on a regular basis.
- Schools independently teach curriculum and continue Bike to School execution without DOT support.
- The school holds a celebratory community event to publicize successful program implementation on National Bike to School Day.
- DOT holds a final helmet fitting event and evaluates the Bike to School program at school.
Applications are due by January 7, 2015. For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
All form fields are required.