TrendWatching is a purpose-driven trend firm, inspiring business professionals to launch sustainable innovations that benefit people and planet.
Select your country
Bike buses are one of the pandemic's silver linings. As city streets emptied and caregivers had more time to bring their kids to school, packs of young children started making their way to class by bike everywhere from Barcelona to San Francisco.
Glasgow also got in on the fun. Now, to help make bike buses stick around beyond lockdowns, the city has created an Ultra Smart Cycle System. A lead rider's bike is mounted with a simple set of buttons and a powerful wireless transmitter. When approaching an intersection, the leader presses that button, which then instructs traffic lights to go green for 45 seconds. That's enough time to let all 50 to 60 young cyclists pass through at once, without the signal inadvertently changing midway.
The system, developed in partnership with Sm@rt Technology, is currently being tested by Shawlands Bike Bus, which escorts children along a prescribed route to Shawlands Primary School. Following that initiative's success, Glasgow is in talks with parents from six other schools to develop safe bicycle routes for their kids, too.
Join 100,000+ future-focused professionals in 180 countries already receiving our free trend updates.