Workplaces that encourage and support their employees to ride the bus, walk, cycle or carpool to work can benefit from financial savings while also achieving corporate or organizational objectives. Chief among these are to:

• Reduce parking demands and pressures

• Reduce on-site parking costs (1) and/or free up parking for customers

• Increase productivity

• Reduce absenteeism (2)

• Improve job satisfaction and morale

• Help meet sustainability and corporate social responsibility objectives, including environmental management systems and standards such as ISO 14001

• Potentially reduce injury rates, workers compensation costs, and claims against group benefit plans with healthier and more physically fit employees

(1) A bicycle parking space costs an average of 80 times less to install than a space for a car. About a dozen bicycles can be stored in the amount of space occupied by a single car. (Source – PDF)
(2) U.K. study (2007) commissioned by Transport for London found that an increase in physical activity of more than one hour per week would lead to a measurable reduction in levels of absenteeism. Importantly, the evidence review highlighted active travel as being potentially more cost effective than other approaches to increasing employee physical activity levels. (Source – PDF)

Satisfy your customers

There is also a growing market of customers who want to arrive by bike or on foot. Accommodating this clientele can help your business to:

• Increase site density without additional parking

• Further reduce parking demand and costs

• Provide a positive experience to and loyalty from customers arriving on foot or by bike

• Create a strategic marketing advantage

Businesses located near or adjacent to cycling and pedestrian friendly areas are particularly poised to profit. A 2009 study on bike lanes and their impact on adjacent businesses on Bloor St in Toronto’s Annex Neighbourhood found that customers arriving on foot and by bicycle visit more frequently and spent the most money per month. (Source – PDF)

See How to Make Your Workplace Commuter Friendly for information on policies, programs, infrastructure, tracking progress, evaluation, and getting recognition.