New data highlight that bicyclists in the United States save at least $4.6 billion a year by riding instead of driving. The post, Pedaling to Prosperity: Biking Saves U.S. Riders Billions A Year shares, "the average annual operating cost of a bicycle is $308, compared to $8,220 for the average car, and if American drivers replaced just one four-mile car trip with a bike each week for the entire year, it would save more than two billion gallons of gas, for a total savings of $7.3 billion a year, based on $4 a gallon for gas."
As this is the last week of National Bike Month, we further explore why workers should bike at work. First, not only is a bike commuter program part of a corporate sustainability plan, but bikes are good for business:
- Increase worker productivity: Fit employees are more alert, more productive, perform better and more efficiently.
- Improve employee health.
- Lower health care costs: healthier employees can reduce health insurance costs.
- Reduce parking cost.
- Reduced carbon emissions.
- Reduce turnover: Employers who appreciate workers' personal needs have less employee turnover.
- Supporting bike commuting is less expensive than an in-office fitness facility.
- Improve work/ life balance: Bike commuting can be substituted for the gym, saving employee’s personal time.
- Community engagement: Bicycles can be produced and maintained locally by local bike shops contributing to local job opportunities as part of a sustainable economy.
- Improve company image.
There are benefits to the bike commuters as well. Not only are employees expanding eco awareness in the community and within the business, they are also elevating their moods, saving money, and improving well being.
What are good examples of green cycling for businesses?
- Bacardi U.S.A recently launched an innovative twist on the bike-to-work concept. In support of Ride Your Bike to Work Day, the spirits producer and distributor launched a bike share program at their Coral Gables, Fla., headquarters last week. Spearheaded by their 42BELOW vodka team, the program provides access to bicycles to get around the local community. Each bike is outfitted with a helmet, lock and cargo basket for those quick errands or to-go orders. According to Billy Melnyk, senior brand manager for 42BELOW Vodka, the idea of commuting to work on a bike isn’t all that practical for most people. However, biking around the local community offers a great opportunity for those looking to get a little exercise and at the same time reduce their carbon footprint.
- Yahoo has bike racks outside every building on its Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, Calif., campuses. It also provides bike commuters with lockers, access to showers and onsite bicycle care. On the third Thursday of every month, the “Bike Doctor” comes to Yahoo’s Sunnyvale campus to provide free tune-ups and repairs. Employees can loan a company-owned bike for free for up to one week at a time.
- Discovery Communications, the parent company of the Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet, reimburses employees at all of its U.S. offices up to $350 for the purchase of a new bicycle and also provides safe parking for bikes.
- The powerful alliance of Kimberly Clark, the League of American Bicyclists, Bikes Belong and Endomondo, recently launched the National Bike Challenge which aims to inspire and empower millions of Americans to ride their bikes for transportation and recreation and better health. Already, organizations in 26 states have committed to participate. Discover how to participate here.