City Tests Employee Bike-Share Program June 04, 2009
Downtown City workers can now sign out a bike for lunchtime rides or short commutes to meetings thanks to an employee bike-sharing pilot starting in mid-June. The program is designed to create health options and reduce the carbon footprint of employees.
As part of the launch, Councillors Don Iveson and Ben Henderson test-rode 2 of the 25 bikes now available to employees working out of City offices in the downtown core.
"Edmontonians have made their city a leader on many environmental fronts by their actions," said Councillor Henderson. "This pilot will encourage City employees to lead by example, as residents and representatives of the City, by getting active while cutting their greenhouse gas emissions.
Councillor Iveson also highlighted the fact that programs like this have been proven to increase productivity and reduce workplace injuries or absenteeism.
"The pilot not only reflects the City's ongoing efforts to promote sustainable modes of transportation, it's another way we're building a healthy workplace for our employees," said Councillor Iveson.
The pilot is designed for workers who do not cycle or cycle very little, and will assess what kinds of barriers need to be addressed to get these individuals on a bike. While the bikes are available to any employee working out of downtown City offices, pilot organizers have recruited a test group of employees to help establish benchmarks and provide ongoing feedback during the project.
Dot Laing, Active Edmonton program coordinator, is managing the pilot. She wants to boost her test group's weekly physical activity by 10 per cent. If successful, the 12-week pilot could be extended in 2010. The City will share the results with other organizations interested in starting similar programs for their own employees.
The launch coincides with Edmonton's Bike Month and Canadian Environment Week.
Whenever using a City-owned bike, employees are required to wear a helmet and follow prescribed security measures to prevent the bikes from being stolen.
The pilot is led by Active Edmonton, an initiative of the Community Services Department.
For more information: Dot Laing
Title Active Edmonton, Program Coordinator, Community Services Telephone 780-994-2348