information
COVID-19 Safety, Recovery and Resilience

Face coverings are required in indoor public spaces and many outdoor spaces. State policy
Access City programs, people and projects helping Portland recover. Portland United

Volunteer. Play. Stay. Shop. Show the Rose City a little love. Here for Portland

How to Start a Bike Train

Information
A Bike Train is a group of students riding their bikes to school, usually with adult supervision. It can be as simple as two families taking turns biking students to school or a structured program with routes, a schedule and meeting locations.

What is a Bike Train?

A Bike Train is a variation of the Walking School Bus. A Bike Train provides students the opportunity to bike to and from school with an adult volunteer. Bike Trains can be a great fit for communities that wish to encourage more bicycling to and from school. If you are already ride a bike, you likely have some ideas of the benefits and considerations of leading a student Bike Train.

Starting a Bike Train

  • Start by checking with your school to see if other families or kids are already biking to school together - maybe you could join in!
  • If your school doesn't have a Bike Train, are there any families in your neighborhood who might be interested?
  • Choose a route (or routes) and test it with adults for safety. Contact Safe Routes to School for assistance choosing a safe route.
  • Create a simple map of your route with information about when you'll meet (day, time, frequency).
  • Post a Bike Train article in your school newsletter and on your school’s website. Share the map you created. Your school PTO is also a great place to promote your Bike Train.
  •  Ensure that Bike Train participants have the following:
    • A safe, properly maintained, and well-fitted bicycle (or scooter)
    • A well-fitted helmet
    • Some practice riding in the street (i.e. a Bike Train is not the best place to learn how to ride)
  • Secure two adult volunteers to ride with the students, one at the front of the train and one at the back, to ensure student safety and comfort.
  • Establish expectations with your participants and review safe group riding skills. Riding safely in the street requires practice and protocol. Contact SRTS staff for information.
  • Start leading your train!

Bike Train: If you want to do more…

If you want to reach more students and have multiple routes, the following are ideas for doing so.

  • Build a team of interested volunteers who can lead different routes.
  • Identify safe routes for students coming from various locations.
  • Designate convenient meeting places that are safe and have sufficient space for bikes to gather.
  • Develop a phone tree so it is easy to communicate with Bike Train leaders.

What are some helpful tools I can use to get biking to school?