Why are so many businesses working to improve conditions for bicycling for their employees and customers?
Improved Ability to Attract and Retain a Talented Workforce
Today’s competitive salaries, costly benefits, and mobile workforce mean workplace amenities can be the key to attracting and retaining the most talented employees. Businesses with attractive bicycle parking, bike commuter benefits, changing rooms, etc., have a definite advantage in the human resource department.
As the popularity of bicycling networking rides increases, bicycling is being called the new golf, without the expensive membership and greens fees.
Reduced Healthcare Costs
- QBP, a $150 million/year wholesale distribution company with more than 450 employees headquartered in the Twin Cities, reduced its company health care costs by $900,000 over a three-year period by implementing a bicycle commuter benefit program (annual cost of $45,000).
- QBP found monthly health insurance claims from employees who bike to work were $95 compared to $261 for non-bike commuters.
- Studies show employees who bike to work are absent less than their coworkers by one day per year.
- Extrapolated to QBP’s 464 employees, the bike commuting program productivity impact generates an annual savings of $301,136 on a cost of $45,000.
Lower Parking Costs
The cost of one parking space is about $4,000 for a surface lot and between $20,000 to $40,000 for a single spot in a structure. The cost of a basic inverted U bike rack with a two-bike capacity is $150, or $75 per space. Many retail businesses are trading single on-street automobile parking spaces in front of their stores to 10-15 bike capacity bike corrals because it allows them to attract more customers.
- Madison strategically placed bike racks outside many of its businesses in the downtown area and saw a 3% overall increase in sales tax revenues in the areas where they installed the new bike racks.
- A study of property values along the Mountain Bay Trail in Brown County shows that lots adjacent to the trail sold faster and for an average of 9% more than similar property not located next to the trail.
- Businesses located on streets that prioritize walking and biking have proven to boost local retail sales by 10-25%.
- In NYC, retail rents in Times Square went up 71% (the largest increase in the city’s history) after the street was closed to cars and bike lanes went in. Additionally, five new flagship stores relocated there after the bike lanes went in.
- After bike lanes and a bike corral were installed on Downer Avenue in Milwaukee, several new businesses moved into storefronts that were previously empty for years.
Convinced? Ready to make your business or workplace more bicycle friendly? Contact the staff at the Bike Fed to find out how we can help. If you want to take some steps on your own, we have provided a list of resources below.
- Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals Bike Parking Guidelines
- City of Madison Bike Parking Guidelines
- Saris – Bike parking racks made in Wisconsin
- Madrax – Bike parking racks made in Wisconsin
- A great resource for all things bike/ped
- Bicycling resources for employers
- Wisconsin RIDESHARE Bike Buddy Program – RIDESHARE now matches people who want to commute by bike with others who have similar routes and times.
- Teaching Safe Bicycling – WisDOT offers Train the Trainer classes for people who want to teach bike safety to others at their workplace.
- WisDOT offers numerous bicycle safety materials free of charge.
- League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly Business Scorecard
- Federal Bicycle Commuter Benefits pre-tax deduction guidelines