Benefits for Challenge participants:
- Resources: New bike commuters in the Challenge have access to online and personal resources to help them have a fun and safe first commute.
- Bike Shop Discounts: Anyone who bikes seven times in the month of May is eligible for special Challenge bike shop discounts.
- Prize Drawings: At the end of each week in May we’ll have prize drawings for anyone who has logged at least one trip that week.
- Fun: The Bike Commute Challenge is a fun excuse to organize activities with your coworkers, at or away from the office..
Benefits for bike commuters:
- Biking improves your health: National health statistics show that when you’re more active, you decrease your risk for cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
- Bike commuting improves your mood: Most bike commuters report that a little exercise and fresh air at the beginning and end of their work day improves their mood at work and at home.
- Bike commuting saves you money: With gas costing nearly $4 a gallon and overall annual car ownership costs averaging $8,000, getting around by bike can free up money in your budget for other things.
- Bike commuting keeps CO2 out of the atmosphere: About 22–25% of Iowa’s carbon emissions come from transportation; cutting down on your motorized trips can help you reduce your carbon emissions and move us one little step closer to slowing down climate change.
Benefits for companies:
Bicycling is good for individual employees, but it can be good for a company, too—from creating happier, healthier employees to improving the bottom line:
- Bicycling reduces stress and anxiety, and makes for happier employees.
- Absentee and turnover rates are lower among physically active employees (National Center for Health Statistics).
- Companies spend less on health care when they invest in programs promoting physical activity: one Blue Cross/Blue Shield study showed a savings of $2.45 per dollar allocated to fitness and wellness programs (Management Review, Aug. 1989, p. 37).
- Bicycling reduces parking costs: Bicycle commuting plays an important part in reducing car trips to work, which reduces parking costs. A reserved car parking spot in the central city can have an annualized capital and operations cost of $12,000, as opposed to $1,000 for secure bicycling parking. (The initial outplay in a parking ramp for a single auto parking space is about $20,000-$25,000.)
Currently Iowa does not offer financial incentives for Business Energy Tax Credits (BETC) for companies that initiate incentives to encourage employees to use alternate transportation.
Bike Commuter Tax Credit. Your company may offer a tax credit (up to $20 per month) for regularly biking to work. We know Meredith Corporation offers this program to its employees; several employees regular receive this benefit. The League of American Bicyclists offers details.