Employers can encourage employees to walk or bike to work by providing on-site facilities to improve convenience for these commute alternatives.
- Bicycle/pedestrian employee office perks
- Employer support of bicyclists and pedestrians
To encourage the use of travel modes other than motor vehicles, like bicycling and walking, employers can provide a range of facilities and services to reduce the need for their vehicles to drive to and from work.
Company campuses and buildings need to be pedestrian- and bicyclist-friendly to encourage these commute alternatives. Sidewalks and shared-use paths for active transportation provide easy access for pedestrians and bicyclists from the roadway to the office and on the company’s campus between offices.
Employers can also offer a fleet of shared bicycles for employees to use on campus or to get to other nearby offices.
People who walk or bike to work need facilities at the office to transition from travel to their workday. Secure storage for bicycles provides employees with the peace of mind that their bicycle will be safe and ready to ride home at the end of the day. On-site showers allow staff to travel actively to work, then shower, and change into appropriate clothing for the office.
Not having a car throughout the day can reduce convenience for some employees to handle errands, exercise, or child care. However, employers can provide support services to reduce employee’s need for a personal vehicle at work, including exercise equipment (or membership to a nearby gym), mail and convenience store services, laundry, on-site dining options, and child care.
Fleet Vehicles or Rental Services
Some jobs require day trips outside of the office that require the use of a motor vehicle. For this purpose, employers can supply a fleet of vehicles or set up an hourly car rental service, which eliminates the need for employees to use their own vehicles and seek mileage reimbursement.
When to use this strategy
On-site facilities for walking and biking employees makes sense for any employer who wants to encourage active transportation. These services can be provided year-round, though seasonal variation may occur in some regions due to weather.
- Reduced use of single-occupancy motor vehicles reduces congestion, emissions, and risk of traffic collisions.
- Providing amenities for employees who walk and bike makes an employer more attractive to candidates who are interested in active transportation.
- Improved employee morale and productivity by reducing the stress of daily commute driving.
What you need in order to implement
- Employers should include information about their active transportation facilities and services in their employee handbook and other company policy documents
- Employers should identify an active transportation coordinator as the point of contact for these efforts
- Employers should identify the bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure needs on campus and develop a long-range plan with goals to encourage increased active transportation
- Coordinate with employees, human resources staff, and service providers to identify the best use of facilities and services
- Employers should monitor the popularity of the facility to determine if and when they should be expanded (e.g., a small number of shower facilities could cause early morning queues before the work day begins)
- All facilities should be cleaned and maintained to ensure they can be used daily
Learn more about this strategy
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Expanding Traveler Choices through the Use of Incentives: A Compendium of Examples.
Implementing a Successful Bicycle and Active Commuting Program in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area (PDF). http://www.bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/bikeleague/bikeleague.org/programs/bicyclefriendlyamerica/bicyclefriendlybusiness/pdfs/fed_guide_to_encouraging_bicycling.pdf
About key characteristics
Employers can support employees with on-site facilities in any location.
Facility costs range based on the extent of the infrastructure that need to be provided. For example, fleet vehicles can be more expensive than reimbursing employee’s personally-owned vehicle mileage.
Most amenities are low-tech, such as shower facilities, designated bicycle parking, and mail services.
Providing support to employees that walk or bike requires minimal collaboration since employers can implement these facilities and services within their company with employee, human resources staff, and service provider coordination.