Incentives for Bike Commuting

Organizations that offer bike commuting incentives have a better track record of getting people to make the switch

A lot of people are theoretically open to making the switch to bicycle commuting, yet hesitate to actually make the jump or don’t stick with it for the long term. It’s a problem that many businesses and organizations have faced when trying to promote active, healthier and more ecologically responsible commuting alternatives.

One constant that’s emerged from creative thinking and a great deal of trial and error is that people are more likely to make the switch if you give them a compelling reason to do it. This strategy of providing bike commuting incentives can take many forms:

Competitive challenges

Some people just need to have their competitive spirit awakened, and creating a friendly but competitive bike challenge program is often enough to get commuters excited. Individuals and teams can vie to log the greatest number of bicycle commutes or the greatest total distance covered over a set period of time, with winners becoming eligible for prizes (and bragging rights!).

Points programs

Reward would-be drivers every time they commute by bike instead by awarding points for each vehicle commute saved. After reaching a certain threshold, the points can then be redeemed for prizes or other perks that might motivate your team members.

Raffles

This approach is similar to points programs, but instead of awarding points, they give commuters an entry in a prize draw for each bicycle commute they log. The bigger the prize, the more enthusiastic people will be.

Earn-a-bike initiatives

Numerous organizations have used this approach to great success. Earn-a-bike programs allow commuters to effectively trade their parking privileges for a bike. Check the Sonos earn-a-bike program for a great example of a strategy that worked very well.

If you need ideas for raffle, points program and competitive challenge prizes, here are some popular options:

  • Bikes or bike accessories (locks, helmets, reflective jerseys, etc.)
  • Vouchers or gift cards redeemable at local bike shops
  • Physical or digital-download gift cards to local malls, restaurants, or retailers
  • Event tickets (sports, movies, etc.)
  • Extra paid time off
  • Cash bonuses
  • Transit passes
  • Rideshare credits to services like Uber and Lyft

The RideAmigos team has great insights to share if you’re looking to create a bike commuting incentives program, and the RideAmigos platform is the ideal tool for shifting commuter behavior. Get started with RideAmigos today to learn more.

3 replies
  1. Peter Williamson
    Peter Williamson says:

    We’ve had the most success with a one-day commitment–Bike to Work Day. We measure our impact with bike counts at major intersections. I have so many examples of people getting on their bike for the first time in forever.

    We also loan free electric or regular bikes for BTWD, which helps make it accessible to everyone. The other push is multi-modal: free bus passes, free bike lockers, or encouraging people to bike last-mile.

    Reply

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