BicycleSource Newsletter

Lower Commuting Costs

Operating a compact car costs some 35 cents per mile, says Hertz Corporation. On the other hand, the U.S. General Accounting Office sets the cost of operating a bike at a mere nickel per mile. Employees who ride more and drive less save hundreds each year on fuel, maintainence, parking, and auto insurance, and if they can avoid the purchase of a second car, they can save even more on depreciation and insurance.

And, when all is said and done, it is the employer who pays for the larger part of commuting costs.

Lower Parking Costs and Space Requirements

Each and every parking space costs the employer, on average, $10,000 in design, construction, maintenance, property taxes, site insurance, and the like. Ten to fifteen bikes can fit into a single parking space, or can be stored indoors. This adds up to substantial cost savings, especially if you were considering expanding the parking facilities.

The savings are especially large if employees use third-party parking lots and the company subsidies these expenses. If employees use their bikes to drop by company suppliers or the bank, less reimbursements are required.

Lower Health Insurance Rates and Expenses

Riding a bike improves the health and fitness of employees and reduces stress. Health insurance rates may be significantly reduced with healthier employees, and bicycling employees may have fewer medical expenses and substantially fewer health-related absences.

Better Health and Increased Productivity of Employees

The exercise provided by a bicycle has been shown to reduce stress and improve general health. Back problems evaporate after using a proper bike with dropped handlebars, and the immune system is bolstered with the general health. Exercise reduces depression and sharpens the mind.

A UCLA study demonstrated that cycling relaxes the central nervous system, improves moods and sharpens mental acuity, while commuting by car raises blood pressure, lowers frustration tolerance and fosters negative moods. A bike commute deposits the employee at work awake, cheerful and alert, with a brain full of oxygen and a heady endorphin rush, which has a profound impact on productivity.

Companies that have promoted employee bicycle commuting have experienced positive results, including increased productivity, decreased absenteeism and fewer on-the-job injuries.

Improved Employee and Community Relations

Both employees and community members have positive feelings toward companies that promote bicycling commuting. According to a 1991 Harris poll, a growing number of employees consider bicycle commuting facilities, such as showers and bike parking, to be an important part of a company's benefits package.

In addition, a business that promotes bicycle commuting demonstrates a concern for clean air, a healthier environment, reduced energy consumption and traffic congestion, and improving the overall quality of life in the community. Such companies are seen as progressive, environmentally responsible and concerned about their employee's health and well-being.

Convinced? Read about how to encourage cyclocommuting in your company in Starting a Bicycle Commuting Program.
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