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Fairhaven Bike TrainThe Town of Fairhaven was recognized alongside the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program by Cape Cod’s NPR station, WCAI, for their bike train program. A bike train is a fun way for elementary and middle school students to get to school while being physically active and practicing bicycle safety skills. Bike trains are adult supervised bicycle rides on a predetermined route to and from school. Fairhaven named their bike train the Bike Bus.

In the spring of 2013, the Fairhaven Bicycle Committee approached Massachusetts Safe Routes to School to learn more about starting a bike train to the new LeRoy Wood School. Students from the Rogers and Wood Elementary School would be starting the 2013-2014 school year in a new school building located right off of “The Pheonix Trail”- Fairhaven’s three mile long community bike path. Several of the bike committee members were already biking to school with their children or grandchildren and wanted to encourage more students to bike to school.

At the kickoff of the Bike Bus, 50 students, the superintendent, and a State Representative showed up to bike to school! Bike Bus groups were led by bike committee members who would lead the students to and from school. The Bike Bus is now successfully riding into its second year! Popularity for the program has continued throughout the fall with an average of 20-30 students biking to and from school.

Massachusetts SRTS Statewide Coordinator, Erin Reed, spoke with WCAI about the Fairhaven Bike Bus in regards to its implementation and success of the Safe Routes to School Program.

“Safe Routes to School educates students, parents, and community members on the value of safely walking and bicycling to and from school,” Reed said. “And it seeks to incorporate these initiatives as active and healthy transportation options for youth as they get older and make their own daily transportation choices.” Listen to Erin Reed’s full interview with WCAI here.

Massachusetts Safe Routes to School outreach coordinators are actively working with over 650 schools throughout the Commonwealth on programs like bike trains, as well as many others. For more information, visit mass.gov/massdot/saferoutes.

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