Sept. 3, 2020 By Allie Griffin
City Comptroller Scott Stringer proposed a “bike-to-school” plan for New York City high school students Thursday.
Stringer called on the city and philanthropic partners to provide free bikes and Citi Bike memberships to low-income public high school students. He also wants the city to build one and a half miles of protected bike lanes around 50 high school buildings across the city in the next year.
He said the proposal offers a sustainable, safe and healthy transportation option for young people to get to school at a time when the MTA is facing a major deficit and the the Department of Education (DOE) has yet to finalize any contracts with school bus companies.
“Building out bike lanes around New York City high schools and providing bikes to lower-income students would open the door to biking for hundreds of thousands of young people,” Stringer said in a statement. “By taking this action, we can allow New York City’s youth to get around their city, improve health and educational outcomes, and connect with their communities.”
As of 2015, about 18 percent of high school students biked or walked to school — down from 23 percent in 2009, according to the NYC Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
Stringer said that number should be much higher, as 40 percent of high school students attend school within their home district and 83 percent within their borough of residence.
“We have a unique opportunity to make biking easier, safer, and more accessible and fundamentally shift how the next generation thinks about getting around our city,” he said.
The comptroller also pointed to a number of studies that show daily exercise, such as biking to school, significantly improves concentration, cognitive skills and school performance.