Photo by Dietmut Teijgeman-Hansen/Flickr

Kids cycling to school in Belgian city rewarded with digital cash

Students who walk or ride their bikes to school in the Belgian city of Genk are being rewarded with ‘digital money’.

It’s their reward for helping promote sustainable transport, and doing their bit for the environment, says the city.

Aimed at fifth and sixth grade (ages 10-11) students, the system uses technology that registers their movements via sensors on their bike or bag, and that in turn produces digital coins, reports Belgian broadcaster VRT.

All of the city’s primary schools can register to take part in the scheme, called Buck-e, for which the city is working alongside tech experts Smartville.

Karel Kriekeman, Genk’s alderman for mobility, told VRT: “A scanner at the gate registers the data from the sensor that is attached to the bicycle or backpack. Based on that data, students receive virtual city coins.”

These coins can then be exchanged in shops, the library, swimming pool and other places. The children can also track their movements with an app.

“Not only do we want to convince families to jump on their bikes more often, but we also want to focus on safe and sustainable school environments,” added Kriekeman.

Author: Simon Weedy

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