Bike to work programs address multiple common commute-related pain points. Cycling can help commuters save money in an age of fast-rising gasoline prices, all while improving their mood and boosting their physical and mental health. Researchers have also found strong links between active commuting, improved productivity, and higher levels of employee morale.
Organizations also gain advantages from effective bike to work policies. Businesses with active commuter bases spend less money on healthcare-related benefits. Active, healthy workforces also tend to post lower rates of illness-related absenteeism. Given these outcomes, bike to work programs often generate positive returns.
Enterprise-focused apps like the award-winning Pave Commute platform provide active commuters with on-demand links to helpful tools like route planners. Employers can also encourage commuters to swap their cars for a bike by introducing policies that support active commuting.
Building a commuter-friendly bike to work culture
Making your workplace better for bike-based commuters is easier and less costly than you might think. Click here and download our case studies to witness firsthand the myriad possibilities of real-world implementations.
You can make a dramatic difference by implementing a few simple but high-impact changes:
Provide bike-friendly facilities on site
One of the best ways to become a bike-friendly employer is to create facilities that cater to active commuters. These include secure bicycle lock-up areas and lockers for storing active wear and cycling equipment.
If space allows, employers can also provide shower facilities for employee use. These allow cyclists to freshen up before starting the day.
Offer incentives and rewards to commuters who bike to work
Incentives and rewards provide positive reinforcement for desirable commuter behaviors. As such, they tend to drive higher rates of commuter program participation while giving employees a good reason to stick with smarter modes of transportation for the long term.
Employers can offer all kinds of creative incentives and rewards to commuters who choose to bike to work. These can include:
Points-based rewards programs
These programs allow commuters to earn points by logging an alternative commute. They can then redeem their points for valuable perks and prizes. The better and more attainable the perks and prizes, the more your employees will want to take part.
The possibility of earning a valuable prize can be a great motivator. Some employers have introduced highly successful “earn-a-bike” programs, which offer free bikes to active commuters who give up their parking spots.
Commuting by bike can improve employee productivity and reduce organizational spending on healthcare benefits. You can reinvest some of those financial spoils in your employees by allowing them to earn cash rewards every time they bike to work.
Lead by example
Management and leadership teams can do a lot to craft a bike-friendly culture by choosing to ride to work themselves. Build in an organization-wide commuter challenge program and you could inspire large cross-sections of your people team to give cycling a try.
Employers can form partnerships with local businesses and organizations that give commuters an added incentive to give biking a try. For example, you could:
- Talk to local bike shops about creating an employer-subsidized discount program for your commuter base
- Approach local bikeshare operators to ask about promotional or preferred access to the bikes in their network
- Reach out to cycling advocacy groups to see what resources they can offer employers
Provide resources and information
Some commuters are reluctant to try cycling because they aren’t sure how to navigate the city by bike, or because they don’t feel confident in their biking skills. Employers can address these issues by providing resources and information about:
- Cycling safety and best practices
- Local bike routes and cycling infrastructure
- How to choose and maintain a bike
Small, inexpensive resources like these can make a big difference to a willing but hesitant person who is on the fence about riding a bike to work.
Supplement bike-friendly policies with flexible working arrangements
Employers can also consider adding flexible workplace policies to better support employees in general, and commuters who choose alternative modes in particular.
These may include:
Power bike to work programs with TDM technologies
Transportation demand management (TDM) technologies offer strong support to commuters who bike to work and the organizations that employ them. Look for applications offering features that support:
Route planners guide cyclists to the quickest and safest routes to work. These features can also provide information on traffic and weather conditions, elevation changes along the planned route, and other data that helps cyclists feel more confident and knowledgeable about their commutes.
Tracking and gamification
Apps excel at tracking gamification data, such as points earned by commuters or teams and commuter challenge standings. They also provide organizations and individual commuters with motivational insights, such as calories burned, total distances traveled, and carbon emissions saved.
When participants see the positive results of their efforts, they are often inspired to stick with their new commuting routines.
Incentives and rewards
Automated incentive and reward tracking frees TDM program managers from the cumbersome need to perform tracking tasks manually. They can then direct their energy and attention to where it’s most needed: building and refining commuter programs that work.
TDM platforms make it easy for active commuters to form online communities and groups, where they can share tips, discuss their experiences, and organize group rides. These features build collegiality and camaraderie among active commuters, which generates meaningful organizational benefits.
TDM platforms offer comprehensive and customizable data-tracking and analytics features. Managers of bike to work programs can use these to extract insight into commuter behaviors, participation rates, and progress toward program goals.
The Pave Commute app provides these and many other helpful features. TDM technologies function as a helpful partner that facilitates the long-term success of your commuter management program.
Launch your bike to work program with the help of Pave Commute
Bike to work programs can dramatically improve employee fitness, happiness, and job satisfaction, all while lowering costs for employers. Organizations can improve employee productivity and morale, all while advancing their commitments to sustainability and doing their part to be more responsive community members.