EDWARDSVILLE - The “Bike Bus” is returning this spring - and expanding - as part of an effort to encourage students to consider fun, alternative ways to commute to school. The initiative is being driven by the City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, which promotes safe, accessible hiking and biking in Edwardsville as a way to enhance quality of life.

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The Bike Bus debuted in the fall at Lincoln and Liberty Middle Schools to demonstrate how fun and easy it can be for students to travel via two wheels rather than four or more. For those unfamiliar with the concept, a bike bus follows a fixed route to and from school with designated "bus stops" along the way. At each stop, bicyclists from nearby neighborhoods and areas can join fellow student riders and the adults who will escort the bike bus. It’s an idea that’s in motion in numerous U.S. cities and school districts.

On three Fridays in May, it will again be back for the morning and afternoon middle school commutes and also will be offered at three Edwardsville Community School District upper elementary schools – Woodland, 59 South State Route 157; Columbus, 315 Kansas Street; and Albert Cassens, 1014 Glen Crossing Road in Glen Carbon. The planned dates are May 3, 10, and 17.

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“We’re very excited to see the Bike Bus grow and allow even more families to participate and enjoy this neat endeavor,” said Jason Stacy, a member of the Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee and Bike Bus organizer. “We want to show families how easy it can be to take advantage of the bike-friendly opportunities in and around Edwardsville.”

Parents are encouraged to ride along, if possible. Online registration is recommended to help the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee anticipate participation and to collect contact information in the event of changes. The bus rules are simple: A bike helmet is required, and participants must be considerate of fellow riders. More information about the Bike Bus, including departure times, route maps, and registration form, can be found on the City’s website: www.cityofedwardsville.com/bikebus.

The Lincoln Middle School and Woodland Elementary School routes are identical, going through the Esic neighborhood before picking up the Madison County Transit Trails and City trails. The Liberty Middle School route winds through the Willow Creek neighborhood. Columbus travels from Leclaire Park through multiple residential neighborhoods on the way to Columbus. The Albert Cassens route, which is in Glen Carbon as part of a cooperative effort with the Village, mostly utilizes the MCT’s Goshen Trail.

“The Bike Bus is just one of the creative and innovative initiatives the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee has brought to life,” Mayor Art Risavy said. “Their projects are fun, healthy, and beneficial to the community.”

For more information about the City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, visit www.cityofedwardsville.com/bpac.

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