Image found on Treehugger
I find this Indian rickshaw converted to a school bus to be particularly bizarre. There’s nothing at all strange or bad about carrying kids to and from school in a trike. In fact WorkCycles sells trikes specifically made for this purpose and they’re becoming quite popular in various cities around the Netherlands. The kids love it. See the examples below:
No, what’s bizarre about the Indian bicycle school bus is how is almost seems to have been designed to be unpleasant for the kids yet not out of economic necessity. A couple of the kids inside are smiling but I suspect its just for the camera. The others don’t seem too happy about the situation and who can blame them? I count at least nine kids in the box. There’s no way to make a bike to carry nine kids in spacious comfort but I’m sure it could be better than this.
I just don’t get it. It looks as if the child carrier box has been built especially to fit this rickshaw chassis, as opposed to having been adapted, second-hand from some other vehicle. But maybe that’s not the case – perhaps the box was originally intended to carry livestock such as sheep, a task it seems better suited for.
Otherwise why make such a cramped and enclosed kid carrier in a place that gets so hot? The roof could easily be higher and still carry the backpacks and protect the kids from sun/rain. Why are the windows so tiny… and further covered by a metal cross bar? Would the kids otherwise jump out and run away? I would. Likewise, with no significant additional cost the box could be extended to the side over each wheel to create more space inside.
Call me arrogant but I don’t believe this situation has anything to do with economics. It just seems like lousy design. Can anybody shed more light on these bikes and/or schools and/or children in New Delhi? Are there reasons beyond my narrow-minded, egocentric comprehension that have dictated this design? Is “public school” actually just a euphemism for “jail for juvenile delinquents” in New Delhi? Please help because my head is spinning.