Bicycle-friendly workplace guide

Have fun before work!
Every day, we commute to work. And more and more of us get around by bicycle: a pleasant, healthy, and eco-friendly practice that has a positive impact on employees’ quality of life.

As an employer, get in gear! Join the ranks of bicycle-friendly workplaces, taking concrete action within their organization, encouraging employees to opt for active and sustainable transportation, such as cycling.

To get the wheel turning, the Bicycle-friendly workplace guide offers a host of suggestions and describes the services and tools available through Vélo Québec’s.

Think about it! Bicycle commuting... This could be your best investment in years!

Cycling: a tangible benefit for your organization!
Cycling is a very efficient way to cover short distances. In general, an 8 km or shorter commute in urban areas is faster by bicycle than car. Moreover, employees who exercise daily are healthier!

Advantages of having employees who ride to work
• Employee well-being and stress reduction thanks to daily exercise
• Less absenteeism due to illness
• Employees are more likely to be on time, not stuck in traffic jams
• Savings on rental and maintenance costs of parking spaces for cars
• Reduced environmental footprint
• Better corporate image by investing in employees’ well being and the environment.

This guide will help you to foster cycling as active transportation among your employees.

Get to work – on your bikes!

Incentives to foster bicycle commuting
Bicycle parking
Installing secure parking is THE ultimate measure to motivate people to commute by bicycle. Whether located inside your building for employees, or outside, for your employees, clients, and guests, these parking facilities must be sufficient in numbers and of good quality, so every bicycle can be securely locked.

This measure costs less than installing and maintaining car parking. And don’t forget: you can park 10 bicycles in the space occupied by a single car.

To learn more on the subject, visit our Website and view our How-to guide: bicycle parking leaflet or request an on-site assessment of your parking needs by a Vélo Québec expert.

Other welcome measures
Showers and change rooms are important to employees who live far from the workplace (10 km or more) or those that make their commute their daily workout.

Below are the recommended numbers:
Number of employees Shower(s) Change room(s)
Women Men Women Men
1 – 19 1 1
20 – 49 1 1 1 1
50 –149 2 2 1 1
150 – 299 3 3 2 or 3 2 or 3
For every additional 250 employees 1 1 1 1

These figures are based on a document produced by Mobili-T, the Québec City transportation management centre.

Installing an access ramp enables cyclists to walk their bicycle when there are steps leading to the indoor parking.

Benefits for employees who commute by bicycle
Certain benefits can accompany incentives (parking, showers, change rooms). They are your way of rewarding employees who chose an active commute over a good part of the year… and convince them to keep it up. Benefits that ultimately are also yours!

A few examples
• Active transportation allowance
If an employee usually cycles, walks, or uses public transit, offer a monthly allowance, just like it is common practice to offer motorists free or reduced-rate parking. It’s up to you to set the amount.
• Allowance for work-related bicycle use
If employees who drive receive an allowance, generally based on kilometres covered, it is only fair to offer an allowance to employees who bicycle. We suggest a rate comparable to the one offered to motorists.
• Bicycle tune-up
Free at the workplace, once or twice over the season, or partly reimbursed (in partnership with a local retailer).
• Discount coupons
For parts, accessories, and clothing (in partnership with a retailer).
• Maintenance and repair workshops
For a group of employees who commute by bicycle.

Bike-to-Work awareness activities
Awareness is the foundation of a successful Bike-to-Work initiative. Support from employees, especially those already commuting daily by bicycle, is essential to success. By contributing to workplace awareness activities, employees who already bike to work act as catalysts to encourage bicycle commuting among their co-workers.

A few examples
• Organize briefing sessions, conferences, and workshops to raise staff awareness of the benefits of cycling and of the various cycling itineraries to and from the workplace
• Organize a Bike-to-Work day at work, and offer breakfast or a snack
• Chose cycling as a company party theme or as a way to discover your city and its surroundings. A tour guide can show you the sites.
• Organize a group for the Tour de l’île de Montréal or the Tour la Nuit rides. Hand out company t-shirts.
• Acknowledge the efforts of bicycle commuting enthusiasts over a given month or year. Highlight their achievements in the company newsletter or the Intranet.

You want to go the extra mile
• Provide employees a map of Montreal’s bicycle paths, centred or not around the workplace borough. Cyclists can then share advice on the fastest, safest and most pleasant itineraries. Map sold by Vélo Québec.
• Provide employees safe cycling guides and share tips via the electronic bulletin board, the Intranet or during promotional events.
• Offer employees a BIXI subscription (Montreal area)
• Provide a few company bicycles for work-related trips or lunchtime errands
• Provide a repair area equipped with tools for basic repairs. Designate one or more employees familiar with bicycle mechanics to make adjustments and minor repairs, giving them a flexible schedule a few times during the cycling season.
• Offer accessories: bicycle lights, baskets, helmets, bells, rain gear, etc.

Services and tools offered by Vélo Québec
On-site assessment of your parking needs by a Vélo Québec expert
Bike-to-work awareness workshops

Bikeways maps
Map of Greater Montreal, including Laval and parts of the South Shore
• Custom map centred around the workplace borough (5 to 8 km circumference)
Many regions and cities available.

Other workshops offered by Vélo Québec Association (in french)

Sample Survey
Understanding employee commuting habits and needs: getting into gear for Bike-to-Work

How to you usually get to work?
 • Car (alone) or motorcycle
 • Carpool
 • Public transit
 • Bicycle
 • Walk, jog or inline skate
 • Other (please specify) ______________

How long is your commute to work? ______ minutes

What is the distance between your home and workplace? _____ km

What would encourage you to got to work by bicycle, or do so more often than you do now?
 • Secure bicycle parking
 • An enclosed and locked area for bicycles
 • Showers and lockers
 • On-site safe-cycling and bicycle maintenance workshops
 • Reimbursement of costs associated with work-related bicycle travel
 • Active transportation incentives
 • Bicycle path maps provided at work
 • Other (please specify) _______

Bicycle-friendly employers
In Quebec, a growing number of employers are investing in the promotion of active transportation and enjoying the benefits of a healthy and active workforce. Here are some inspiring examples.