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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-29-11, 04:15 PM   #1
dahut
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Get paid to commute by bicycle

I found out today that my company has joined an initiative to reward workers who ride to work. They are giving spending vouchers for bike stuff, redeemable at bike shops that participate in the nationwide program. It is being considered both as an incentive and benefit. Be healthy by riding, and use the medical insurance less. Use less gas by riding and do a small bit for the environment. Etc.

So I'll be getting $20/month in vouchers, every month, to ride my bike to work. They call it an offset to the cost of cycling, allowing me to buy items needed to keep up the riding. Tires, chains, helmets and so on. As far as I know there are no restrictions as to what you can purchase. Im pretty sure it is nontaxable as income, too.
It also benefits the LBS, since they are face-to-face coupons, not e-vouchers. You gotta go to a brick and mortar store to spend them.

Alright, $20/month isn't a lot - a hard core roadie would probably sneer at such a paltry sum. After all, $100 jerseys, $200 shoes and so on would eat up this windfall in no time. But commuters just pedal from place to place... Boring, possibly. But that high dollar, glitzy race gear is kinda lost on us work haulers. This money could help keep me in tires, chains, etc., for the season.

Hey, free bike stuff to do something I'm doing anyway? Count me in!
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Old 06-29-11, 05:04 PM   #2
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$20 a month probably isn't even an incentive really since we ride regardless. Still, that's pretty cool!

I was told Specialized "pays" their employees $5 a day to ride the company's brand to work. Not sure if that's $5 in cash, vouchers, coupons, IOUs, etc. One of these days I'll have to ask.
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Old 06-29-11, 05:26 PM   #3
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I'd be happy if they did that for me. The only "green initiative" they care about is sending "e-news" so they dont have to pay for paper, not because its wasting paper
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Old 06-29-11, 05:36 PM   #4
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$20 a month probably isn't even an incentive really since we ride regardless. Still, that's pretty cool!

I was told Specialized "pays" their employees $5 a day to ride the company's brand to work. Not sure if that's $5 in cash, vouchers, coupons, IOUs, etc. One of these days I'll have to ask.
You're right, it's not much money. But considering they are even doing it makes it something. This is a global pharma company, one of the largest in the world. For whatever reason, this little backwater program has been put in place. I can't imagine there are enough cycling commuter for even a small amount of good press to come out of it.
But there it is - I'll take it.

There are also Federal transportation dollars available for employers to make their workplaces bike friendly. Again, the idea is to encourage cycle commuting for employees. Like the program at my company, these incentives are not earth shaking. It's, like, $25 per cyclist to help pay for racks, etc. But, hey. They exist and they are a start....

Something funny was when the program administrator asked me what biking facilities we had. He's in Philadelphia.

"Facilities?" I asked.
"Yeah, you know, racks, secured storage, lighted overheads... what sort of things do they have for the bike commuters there."
"Well," I said, "I'm in South Carolina. Bikes are for kids down here; real men drive trucks. I AM the bike commuter - the one and only.
As for 'facilities', well... there's a tree behind the motorcycle parking area. This is a fenced facility, too, so I don't need a lock. That's cool, I reckon. So, I just use a bungee cord and strap my bike to that tree.
I do use my own bungee cord, though."
"Damn!" He laughed. "Well we have money for some stuff. I'll get a rack sent down there for you. Keep an eye out for it, okay?"

$20/month and a rack?? The Gods smile upon me, it would seem.

Last edited by dahut; 06-29-11 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 06-29-11, 05:43 PM   #5
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Can I have the name for this program? I work for an alternative transportation dept of a university and this is the type of info we'd love to have.

Thanks!
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Old 06-29-11, 05:46 PM   #6
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that's cool!
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Old 06-29-11, 05:53 PM   #7
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I'd be happy if they did that for me. The only "green initiative" they care about is sending "e-news" so they dont have to pay for paper, not because its wasting paper
I know what you mean! I'm in facilities maintenance and was told the other day that my department can't stock spare parts! Penny pinching is nothing new.
Green initiatives are not unheard of with us, but they have not been made personal like this one. There is also a voucher system for ride sharers.

Initially, this cycle commuting voucher was only within the urban corporate offices. It is just recently they have gone nationwide with it.
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Old 06-29-11, 05:56 PM   #8
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Can I have the name for this program? I work for an alternative transportation dept of a university and this is the type of info we'd love to have.

Thanks!
Sure, I'll be glad to get it for you, along with some contact information. I cant recall the exact name, off hand, so I don't want to steer you wrong.
I'll post it tomorrow. Will that do?
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Old 06-29-11, 06:00 PM   #9
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That's really cool. I have an unofficial benefit that I really appreciate, which is the use of a company CNG minivan to support my multimodal commute. For more info, see this thread:http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...tus?highlight=
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Old 06-29-11, 07:23 PM   #10
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I think its cool, if you are going to be riding anyway the $20 is just bonus.
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Old 06-29-11, 07:35 PM   #11
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Man, I'd like to see that at my employer. Our senior leadership (large corporation) gives personal health a good bit of lip service, but nothing really comes out of it but a few emails on how to take care of one's self and then the effort dies, just like some of my over-worked peers on blood thinners. Sad but true.

I recently asked our property management to swap out the cabinet in my cubicle for something with a rack in it to hang my dress clothes. I was scoffed at and blown off...am guessing she's fat and depressed and offended at my efforts to ride to work
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Old 06-29-11, 07:53 PM   #12
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The University that I work at is considering offering a bike commuting incentive. The first step is going to be a survey to gauge interest and then things will proceed from there. I believe it is tied into two things -- wellness programing that HR has started and opening up parking spaces. I am pretty sure that anyone getting the subsidy would have to either give up the parking space they have or not be able to get a space and still get the subsidy.
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Old 06-29-11, 07:56 PM   #13
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I wish my company would do that since they consider themselves to be "green"... 20 bucks here and there would be great =)
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Old 06-29-11, 07:56 PM   #14
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Here in Southern California businesses with +50 employees at a location have develop alternate commuting plans to help reduce air pollution. One of the options is bicycling. I make about $2 for every day I ride, or about $30-$35/month. Payment is in cash card, and they are from a variety of businesses. I usually just get 'em for a local grocery store chain (everyone's gotta eat), but they're also available for some bike shops (I think Performance is on the list), sporting goods stores (REI, Sports Authority), and other types of retailers. Pretty cool. .
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Old 06-29-11, 09:27 PM   #15
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The Federal Bike Commuter Benefit program allows $20/month through your employer, if they decide to opt into the program. Here's a little bit of info on the program:

http://www.sfbike.org/?commute

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employe..._United_States

My company hasn't opted to participate in this, as it seems that the overhead to manage this for only a small handful of commuters is something they don't want to deal with. I'm hoping they change their minds at some point...
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Old 06-30-11, 04:14 AM   #16
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The Federal Bike Commuter Benefit program allows $20/month through your employer, if they decide to opt into the program. Here's a little bit of info on the program:

http://www.sfbike.org/?commute

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employe..._United_States

My company hasn't opted to participate in this, as it seems that the overhead to manage this for only a small handful of commuters is something they don't want to deal with. I'm hoping they change their minds at some point...
Im pretty sure this is what we're dealing with at my employer. It is managed by an outside service vendor and the terms described in the links are pretty much spot on.
If I read this right, the employer doesn't make the contribution - the rest of us do through our tax dollars. The service vendor manages the program.
So I wanna thank all of you for paying your taxes... and helping to ensure I get my $20.
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Old 06-30-11, 04:17 AM   #17
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I wish my company would do that since they consider themselves to be "green"... 20 bucks here and there would be great =)
It seems this is a federally funded, tax dollars program. The cost is not out of the employers coffers. You would have to run point on this to get it started, but the company might like the idea that they don't pay for it out of pocket.
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Old 06-30-11, 09:00 AM   #18
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I bought new pedals for my bike with the $20 commuter check. My bike shop was a bit confused when i gave the check to them but they havent called me back to say it didnt clear so it all worked out.

our company passed it off like they were the ones give us this employee perk.
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Old 06-30-11, 09:28 AM   #19
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An additional 240 dollars ever year for bike gear is definite plus in the commute column.
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Old 06-30-11, 09:47 AM   #20
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At my last job (a US company) I was getting 3/day to ride. They just had a clipboard at reception based on an honour system. Worked out to be 180 per quarter! Got me a new flatscreen TV!
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Old 06-30-11, 09:51 AM   #21
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I tried to get the company I used to work for to do this and they refused since they would also have to offer incentives to bus riders (though, to my knowledge, no one rode the bus to work). The bus incentive is much higher than the bike commuting one (I haven't looked at the numbers recently but it could be >$50/month).

BTW, you can thank Earl Blumenauer for that $20, dahut.
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Old 06-30-11, 11:40 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by hsh101 View Post
The Federal Bike Commuter Benefit program allows $20/month through your employer, if they decide to opt into the program. Here's a little bit of info on the program:

http://www.sfbike.org/?commute

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employe..._United_States

My company hasn't opted to participate in this, as it seems that the overhead to manage this for only a small handful of commuters is something they don't want to deal with. I'm hoping they change their minds at some point...
I contacted HR at employer about this. They are not interested, either. Apparently the paperwork is too onerous for only a few people who bike commute. They do offer incentives for use of public transit, though.
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Old 06-30-11, 01:25 PM   #23
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I contacted HR at employer about this. They are not interested, either. Apparently the paperwork is too onerous for only a few people who bike commute. They do offer incentives for use of public transit, though.
That's what mine said, too. While the money isn't great, it would pay for, say, a wind breaker, or a couple chains a year, or other minor expenses.
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Old 06-30-11, 02:02 PM   #24
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Can you save up the $20 a month and then cash it all in for a bigger purchase? That would make it much more useful.
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Old 06-30-11, 02:23 PM   #25
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Hey, us hardcore commuting roadies use up chains/cassettes/tires just like everyone else. Free money is free money!
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