News from Intercity Transit:
Bicycles of every color, and too many to contain, will be spilling out of bike racks at Olympia area schools this week. Parking lots are likely to be calmer with less vehicle traffic, and students will arrive to South Sound schools with a little more exercise under their belts.
Olympia area schools are encouraging students and families to cycle or walk to school on Friday, May 20, Bike to School Day. Bike to School Day is an annual event held across the United States and Canada that coincides with National Bike to Work Day, which together encourage entire families to leave their cars at home and commute on two wheels – or two feet - instead.
“The kids have grabbed on to how much fun it is to bike to school together as a group,” says Stacey Brewster, a parent and volunteer at Pioneer Elementary School in Olympia. “Families are finding that biking is easier than they might have thought, and so much fun. Brewster reports that she counted 87 children’s bikes parked in the school’s bike rack one day earlier this week.
For the past several years, hundreds of students from Olympia elementary, middle and high schools have participated by pedaling and stepping to school. The Olympia School District, with support from school administrators and parents, is again participating.
The Bike to School Day event, coordinated by Intercity Transit, is part of the public transportation agency’s youth education program. This year, any student who bicycles or walks to an Olympia school can be entered into a prize drawing for bike safety equipment or an iPod.
Intercity Transit Supports Year-Round Biking, Walking, and Transit Use
Intercity Transit’s nationally-recognized Smart Moves Youth Education Program works with schools and recreation programs year round to help students confidently and safely bicycle, walk, and ride transit. Transit officials estimate the program has worked with 20 schools and approximately 8,000 students on transportation related topics during the school year that is now ending.
In addition to Bike to School Day, the agency is participating in National Bike to Work Day, also on May 20. Intercity Transit also administers a Commute Trip Reduction program with 119 area worksites, offers transit pass programs to area commuters and students, and coordinates the popular annual Bicycle Commuter Contest in Thurston County - running this month – with an estimated 1,300 cyclists participating.