Merano goes Pedibus
The municipality’s Pedibus project provides a safe way to school to a growing number of pupils. Within three years, the walking bus community rose from 3 to more than 90 kids. Metamorphosis Merano had a crucial share in this success story.
Aiming at a traffic calming in school streets, the municipality first launched the idea of a walking bus service in the two elementary schools of the Wolkenstein neighbourhood. Families were called upon to have their kids walk to school escorted by crossing guards. Despite an enthusiastic feedback, very few families chose to actually send their kids to school on foot. When the Metamorphosis team was asked to help rising the acceptance of the Pedibus idea, two different strategies were implemented. On one side, the team addressed the families with an information stand right in front of the two schools. On the other side, the kids themselves were invited to join the team in developing a Pedibus stop design with pavement markings and bus stop signs. Various Pedibus stops were decorated in the context of two workshops. This enhanced the visibility of the walking bus service and the awareness among residents that walking to school could be a safe and healthy alternative to car transport.
A final marketing effort did the rest. Every schoolyear, new requests from new neighbourhoods and schools arose, asking to create new walking bus lines. At present, Merano has eight walking bus lines serving six neighbourhoods. And more lines are coming…