May 2014 was National Bike Month, and an exciting one for us here at Liftopia! As the weather warmed up, more and more Liftopians started to commute to the office on bike and on some days, up to 75% of the employees pedaled their way to work.
Since San Francisco is only 7 miles across each way (both East to West and North to South), those of us living in the city can pretty much bike to or from work in roughly 40 minutes or less. For me, it’s actually faster and cheaper than if I drove, rode the bus, or took the train. And, as of October 2013, even commuters who live in Walnut Creek or East Oakland can now take their bikes onto the Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART), hop on a train, and re-appear above ground 20-minutes later at our downtown San Francisco office.
Liftopia has always promoted a healthy lifestyle for its employees and customers; so encouraging people to bike to work has been an obvious and easy win for everyone. Our company offers in-office, secured bicycle parking; a wellness reimbursement of $50/month to all employees that can be used on any healthy, lifestyle-related expense from gym memberships to bike purchases; and an additional $200/year commuter benefit which can be used for BART train tickets or commuter bike tune-ups.
These things have helped contribute to heavy employee ridership and the team was super excited to find out that we won the 2014 Bicycle-Friendly Business Award for Medium Sized Companies in San Francisco, a recognition awarded annually by the SF Bicycle Coalition.
The SF Bike Coalition has been at the forefront of bike advocacy for 40 years and has helped plan and implement the ever-expanding network of bike lanes we have here in the City. Because of their efforts, San Francisco has seen a 96% increase in bike commuting over the past eight years. Liftopia supports the Bike Coalition and all of its efforts by being a business member.
On May 8th (San Francisco’s Bike To Work Day), a dozen Liftopians, including CEO Evan Reece, biked to City Hall to meet San Francisco mayor, Ed Lee. We were presented the award at a press conference, along with our co-winners: Rackspace (for Large Businesses), Arizmendi Bakery (for Small Businesses), and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (for non-profits). It was a real honor to be able to celebrate with city supervisors, the mayor, reps of the Bike Coalition, and our fellow winners.
Best of all, Bike Month 2014 has had a real, lasting, positive effect on commuting habits here at Liftopia. Several public transit riders have started putting on the helmet and biking a few days a week. Other formerly occasional bikers have begun biking almost every day. And people who used to ride alone now meet up to ride to work and enjoy their mornings together.
If you’re in San Francisco this Summer, keep an eye out in Golden Gate Park around 8:00 or 8:30am—You just might run into the Liftopia Bike Gang, pedaling to work in style with big smiles!