Benefits of Becoming a Bicycle Friendly Business
By Connie Szabo Schmucker, Advocacy Director, Bicycle Garage Indy
According to the League of American Bicyclists, more than 500,000 American employees now work at a Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB), thanks to visionary leadership in the private and public sector. The League of American Bicyclists has designated nearly 500 local Bicycle-Friendly businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies that are transforming the American workplace, including 20 in Indiana. Bicycle Garage Indy is a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Business. Click HERE for full list
Increase Bicycling = Decrease Health Care Costs
Companies that are bicycle friendly businesses not only see a large percentage of their employees bike to work (25-50% in most cases), they also see an increase in employee morale and decrease in health care costs. Regular bicycle commuters have a built-in routine that keeps them active on a daily basis.
A recent study of Quality Bicycle Products, a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business in Minnesota, found that their 100 regular bicycle commuters (about 25% of their workforce) generated $200,000 annual savings in health care costs. Bike commuting employees generated more than three times the savings than non-bike commuting employees who participated in their very successful wellness programs. Link to study
Bicycle Friendly Business Basics
The minimum requirements for a bicycle friendly business are:
1) Providing secure bicycle parking – employees are 2x more likely to commute by bicycle if there is secure bicycle parkin
2) Providing shower facility – employees are 5x more likely to commute by bike if there are showers in addition to bike parking.*
Additional ways to increase number of bicycle commuters include providing incentives, flexible work schedules and encouragement.
The application for Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) from League of American Bicyclists is a comprehensive resource for companies of all sizes. The BFB website contains great examples of what creative companies have done to encourage their employees and customers to bicycle.
Corporate Bike Share
Having a fleet of bikes for a corporate bike share program is a simple way to encourage bicycling to the entire workforce, not just those interested in biking to work. Employees save time and gas bicycling from one end of a corporate campus. Corporate bikes can even be used for short lunchtime bike rides.
Bicycling as part of a Wellness Program
Encourage bicycling as part of a healthy lifestyle outside of the workplace. Join Bicycle Garage Indy’s Get Back on Your Bike program is a turnkey wellness program that companies can use to incorporate bicycling into already existing wellness efforts. Join the National Bike Challenge and have internal challenges of your own.
Additional ways to keep the momentum year-round:
- Provide recognition and incentives to keep employees bicycling all year
- Participate in National Bike to Work Day (3rd Friday in May)
- Participate in Indianapolis Bike to Work Day Corporate Challenge
- Participate in the National Bike Challenge
- Participate in a large organized recreational bicycle event which both your employees and your company can rally around. Bicycle Indiana Resource Guide lists bicycle events statewide
- Apply to become a Bicycle Friendly Business
- Install secure bicycle parking and fleet of corporate bike share bikes (BGI Commercial Fitness Bicycle Parking Solutions
- Incorporate bicycling into your wellness programs (BGI's Get Back on Your Bike program)
- Secure bicycle parking downtown (www.INBikeport.org)
- Secure bicycle parking and showers/locker rooms (www.indybikehub.org)
Connie Szabo Schmucker, Advocacy Director
Bicycle Garage Indy / BGI Fitness