A New Kind of Bus

30 03 2009
Italian children walking via piedibus. Photo courtesy of the New York Times

Italian children walking via "piedibus". Photo courtesy of the New York Times

Environmentalists stress the idea that one can be more environmentally friendly by carpooling or taking the bus.

Italians have a different idea.

450 students in Lecco, Italy get to 10 elementary schools by an un-traditional means of transportation:  “piedibus”.

A “piedibus”, meaning foot bus in  Italian, is a bus route with  a driver but no vehicle.  Italian children are led to school each morning by paid staff members and parental volunteers.

The transportation system was started in Lecco in 2003 in an effort to combat obesity, local traffic jams and global warming. According to a story in the New York Times, the city had the first piedi bus, but they are beginning to turn up elsewhere,  in other European countries and more recently, North America

It’s a strange idea, but a good one. According to an article on disneyfamily .com, 500,000 school buses carry 24 million American children to school everyday. Think of how much air pollution those buses create as a group. Emissions come from two sources: the tail pipe and the engine.

Maybe Americans should follow in the footsteps of the Italians and create their own “piedibuses”.

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