I am super lucky to have a view like this on my way home from work! Riding my bike over the Burrard Bridge in Vancouver, BC hosts fantastic views of English Bay out to the Georgia Straight and the Coast Mountains. I’ve been riding my bike to and from our Strathcona office and warehouse a few times a week, it’s been an easy and fun way to start and end my work day. The new bike lane over the Burrard Bridge has made cycling safer in Vancouver and is a big step by Mayor Gregor Robertson and councellors like Andrea Reimer acting on their commitments for a sustainable city.
In most cities transportation is a major contributor ot green house gas emissions and there are many advantages for businesses to address this issue by engaging their employees to find alternate ways of getting to work without their cars.
Cycling saves time and money
– it’s fast! It only takes me 25 minutes to ride my bike whereas it takes 45 minutes to take the bus. During rush hour it takes about the same amount of time to drive a car.
– purchasing a good bike costs way less than operating a car
– great exercise, gets the heart rate up and blood pumping to start the work day off right, increasing productivity
But I need my car during the day!
Some of us need a car during the day to run errands or hit up meetings, how can I get where I need to be if I don’t have my car? A great option for this is car sharing services like the Co-operative Auto Network, a non-profit car sharing service in Vancouver, BC that let’s it’s members use vehicles by the hour at a fractional cost of owning your own vehicle. I’ve been a member for the last 3 years and for the most part the service has been great. When I first started Saul Good and was running it from my home the co-op helped me to save a lot of money by using their vehicles for big deliveries to clients. Loading a co-op pick up truck with 100 gift baskets and personally driving out to deliver them was a lot cheaper than delivery services or purchasing my own van or truck.
Top 3 things a company can do to promote sustainable commuting options
1) Offer to pay for cycling safety courses, helping to ensure that your employees feel comfortable while riding in traffic and get to work safely.
2) Provide incentives to get employees out of their cars. The Employer Pass Program at Translink gives your employees a 15% discount on public transit passes and you can kick a bit more in for added incentive. If you don’t have 25 employees to sign up think about joining the Co-operative Auto Network as their members can join the program under their umbrella.
3) Remove barriers. Build showers for employees to use if they rid their bike into work. Sign up for the Company Car from the Co-operative Auto Network so employees can use vehicles during the day if need be.