How does the Prague bike program for schools work?

Publikováno: 11. února. 2024, 7 min. čtení
Aktualizováno: 07. února. 2024
Úvodní foto: Martin Šnobr
Publikováno: 11. února. 2024, 7 min. čtení
Aktualizováno: 07. února. 2024
Úvodní foto: Martin Šnobr

In 2021 we reported on the municipal program offering schools the opportunity to establish bicycle racks or bike storage facilities. What are the experiences with this program after three years of its existence, and how many schools have improved their bike and scooter parking within its framework? We asked Prague City Hall.

The program is outlined on the website of the association ‚Pěšky městem‘ [Walking through the city]. There, you can also find basic information on how individual schools can participate in the program. Schools and kindergartens can request basic bicycle racks or stands for scooters, as well as bike sheds or other shelters for bicycles.

As ‚Pěšky městem‘ informs, the installation of cycling facilities at schools is coordinated by the municipal transport department. For this purpose, the department has issued the ‚Catalog of cycling-related facilities for schools and educational facilities in the City of Prague,‘ which is intended solely for the internal use of this department and is not meant for further distribution. The department has also created a standardized application form through which schools can request the establishment of a bike parking facility.

The actual installation is carried out by the Technical Administration of Communications (TSK). The implementation costs are covered by Prague City Hall.

Three years of experience with the program

The spokesperson for City Hall, Vít Hofman, describes for Městem na kole how at the launch of the program in 2021 the municipality approached nearly 400 schools, ranging from kindergartens to high schools, managed by Prague or its districts, offering to establish bike parking facilities.

31 projects completed, 25 await implementation

The interest from schools was greater than Prague anticipated: ‚The interest from schools exceeded our expectations and previously established procedures. Among other things, the demand forced us to proceed with a public procurement process, where it was necessary to detail the request for each location extensively. Therefore, we had to divide the project into several phases so that the procurement process itself would not take too long before receiving the final binding requirements from the schools. Phase I was completed by the end of April 2022 (mainly schools and educational facilities established by the city districts). A total of 31 educational facilities, mainly kindergartens, took advantage of it, hence the prevailing demand for scooter stands,‘ explains Vít Hofman.

At the same time, the program does not end there. The city has recorded another 25 requests that could not be satisfied due to capacity reasons. The start of the second phase, primarily for schools established by the city, is planned for the first half of 2024.

However, the program does not end there either: ‚Other cycling facilities, such as bike shelters, will be addressed in the future, as, due to the high financial volume, it was not possible to implement all public contracts at once,‘ adds spokesperson Hofman.

What challenges does the program face? Vít Hofman describes that a significant problem is the need to find individual tailor-made solutions: ‚There is no ready-made product available within our citywide furniture collection that offers a non-lockable bicycle shelter and stands for scooters,‘ he explains, adding that the purchase of furniture through public tenders is also a major challenge: ‚The main issue is that manufacturers and suppliers of bicycle shelters do not want to participate in the tender at all. Their main reason is a lack of personnel and capacity. If the situation in the market does not change, solving the situation will not be easy.‘

Despite the described challenges, Prague has already been able to implement shelters at the Na Beránku Primary and Nursery School and the Klausova and Rakovského Primary Schools. According to the contract registry, the city has purchased a total of 136 stands for scooters.

The type of parking demanded varies according to the school’s character. According to Prague City Hall, scooter stands are most in demand at kindergarten schools. For primary schools, second-stage students are most interested in bike parking, as the city notes their interest primarily in bike shelters and lockable bike sheds.

From conversations with parents, we know that the success of the project can be influenced by small details. An example was given of a bike shed at a school where the decision was made to have a lockable shed with a key issued individually by the gatekeeper inside the building. This significantly reduced its usability. Conversely, at schools that chose to have a bike shed that could be opened with, for example, a pupil’s lunch chip, the project tended to be much more successful.

Therefore, we at Městem na kole asked if City Hall itself has examples of particularly successful projects. Vít Hofman noted however, that the City Hall values all completed projects: ‚We consider all of them successful simply because the project was successfully completed in a given location,‘ he summarized for Městem na kole.“

Bike sheds and bike shelters are also being established elsewhere

Bike sheds and bike stands at schools are not only being created as part of this program by Prague City Hall. For example, at the Burešova Primary School in Prague’s Ďáblice, the bike shed was built in 2018 by the local district itself at the request of parents and students. For many years, the Technical Road Administration (TSK) has been installing regular U-shaped stands throughout the city at the request of city districts, including in front of educational institutions.

Bike sheds and bike shelters are a common feature at educational institutions elsewhere. We have reported, for example, on the initiative to supplement bike boxes at 18 primary schools in Ostrava and on shelters at a brand new school in Jirčany, south of Prague.“

This is an adjusted ChatGPT translation of this article:

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