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Boston businesses promote cycling

by Richard Masoner

The Boston Herald published this article on how Massachusetts businesses promote cycling:

Leave your car at home, bike into work and get an annual $700 raise. That’s Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s proposition. The Cambridge-based biotech offers employees who bike to work $175 extra per pay quarter. The 1,100-employee company supplies bike racks, locker rooms and showers at its headquarters near MIT.

Biking enthusiasts say corporate moves such as Millennium’s incentive program are part of a growing trend in Boston and the United States to make biking part of the business culture – and the movement goes beyond commuting.

My employer provides secure covered bike parking, lockers, showers and towel service, as well a guaranteed ride home for emergencies and bike racks on the intra-campus shuttles and most commuter shuttles. This is big improvement from what I’ve been accustomed to in the past, which has generally been washing in the bathroom sink and changing in the handicap stall.

Does your employer provide an accommodation for your bicycle commute?

 
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19 Responses to “Boston businesses promote cycling”

  1. I would love it if my employer would do this! I’m trying to work up a good plan to bring up with my bosses! Awesome!

  2. We have the same facilities you describe, with the exception of racks on the intra-campus shuttles.

  3. Chris C. says:

    Yahoo! also has the same facilities as Fritz describes. We also have a program where if you track your commute days (other then driving) you get free stuff like meals, movies and massages at our fitness center. I usually get the free meals since I need more food to replace the calories I burn riding to work.

  4. Joel says:

    my employer provides…well, there are a couple of excess police event barricades (the police academy is in the building) that we can lock up on, if the motorcycle riding cop hasn’t parked across the length of them. (and i work for the health department, you’d think they would encourage healthy behavior)

  5. Fritz says:

    Tommy, doesn’t your employer do bus bridges for cyclists now? I remember reading something about that…

  6. Jennifer says:

    Repeated requests for indoor bike storage are always denied out of “safety concerns” that are as bogus as they are vague, so we took to simply bringing our bikes inside and storing them in empty cubicles. Bosses gave up complaining about it years go; a few do it themselves.

  7. Nord says:

    No financial incentives coming here, but I work at a small law firm in Houston. We have a shower I can use in the morning, and one of the bosses insisted that I bring my bike into the office for safe storage during the day.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I work for a major entertainment company and we get a buck back every day we DON’T drive a car and half off bus passes.

  9. About the bus bridges: yes, there are shuttles that carry 12-bike trailers that run across 520 each morning and evening, and there is a new program for buses that cover the region (to serve areas that aren’t adequately served by the metro King County transit system) and they can carry buses, too.

    I was referring to the intra-campus shuttles you mentioned which I took to mean the shuttle buses that run from building-to-building inside the main campus rather than buses that run from areas throughout the region *to* campus. The inside-the-campus shuttle system does not have provisions for carrying bikes.

  10. One other thing: we get free bus passes as well to use on any of the region’s transit buses. They’re intended for use to get to and from work but they can be used on any of the buses, any time. It’s a nice incentive as well and most (maybe all, now?) of the King County buses have the two-bike or three-bike racks on the front.

  11. Fritz says:

    By intra-campus shuttle I meant the buses that shuttle between the different campuses we have throughout the Bay Area. Well, all two and half of the campuses that remain, anyway.

    I made note of the bus bridge service as an additional benefit you guys have up in Redmond.

  12. Mark says:

    Some buildings on campus have storage areas that have been taken over by bike commuters, at other buildings people just bring their bikes into their offices. University wide, we have no “official” indoor bike storage. The administration is talking about bike lockers and more bike racks, we’ll see what comes of that. I happen to be lucky and work in a building that had active faculty and staff involved when the building was constructed. They demanded a shower be installed, but very few buildings have this luxury. We have no cash incentives for biking, although, the University participates in a rapid transit program, so anyone with a valid ID can ride for free on the buses, statewide. All the buses have two bike racks, but they are frequently full.

    People that carpool get two guaranteed rides home, via taxi, per year. The bike commuter population is leaning on the administration to extend this benefit to active bike commuters, the bus just doesn’t always go where I’m going or is able to rescue me should I have a serious bike failure.

  13. Jason says:

    My employer “provides space” by default. I park my bike in an unoccupied corner of our office. We don’t have a shower, so during the summer it’s the “bathroom washup” before work on the hottest days. My commute is short, though, so there are fewer stinky days than might otherwise be the case.

  14. John says:

    Indoor storage, showers, guraanteed ride home program, I have it all at work. The building has just over 800 employees, and two bike commuters.

  15. Franky says:

    Sink and handicapped stall are the extend of our facilities, but I’m also the only one commuting by bike once in a while (my weak butt can’t do the 30 miles each way all the time). Recently the town required all businesses to install a bike rack, even though I’ve NEVER seen anybody riding a bike besides me around here!
    I don’t blame my fellow coworker though since you got to be fearless and partially suicidal to bike in this area and generally in New Jersey. I’m surprised myself that I’m still alive!!!!

  16. xcskimt (Robert) says:

    My employer has showers and bike racks. I am glad to say I am seeing more and more bikes in the rack. The bike racks are right next to the executive parking and so the bikes are secured via private security. It would be nice to have a compensation compared to other employers in the area they are far better. We also have weight room and aerobic room with afternoon instructors.

  17. Dan says:

    My employer provides a nice outdoor rack that is pretty much devoid of student bikes (and student foot traffic). I have taken my bike inside on occasion (without asking permission).

    All staff and students can ride the local buses for free, but they don’t go near my house.

    Showers are available at the student rec center – about 8 blocks away.

  18. Diego says:

    My employer, Disneyland, has a very similar program to Sun Microsystem’s. We have plenty of showers and people who bike more than three times a week can have a bike locker. I think the number of bikers has increased in the last year.

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