Company bike programs help recruit talent

“It’s an arms race for talent,” said a manager from a large tech company in Silicon Valley, referring to the ongoing competition to land the best and brightest employees.

Companies need to offer commute alternatives to driving solo if they want to attract and retain top talent. Especially Millennials.

According to A New Way to Go, a 2013 report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), “The average person ages 16-34 drove 23% less in 2009 than in 2001, the sharpest reduction for any age group.”

Millennials and transportation

Findings from another report, “Millennials & Mobility”, released in October 2013 by the American Public Transit Association (APTA) revealed that 70% of adults under 35 use multiple alternatives instead of the car several times or more per week.

This generation, the largest and most diverse in American history, and the future of our workforce, doesn’t want to drive a car and prefers to ride a bike or bus.

As one young tech worker put it, “I don’t want to own a car anymore.”

Companies recruiting top talent, take note. If you don’t offer amenities that make bike commuting easy and convenient, you won’t be as competitive as those that do.

Gone are the days when having a company bike program meant a few bike racks out front and a shower in an out-of-the-way corner of the building. Today, leading companies offer the full range of amenities, from infrastructure to programmatic support:

  • Safe roads and pathways both on and off campus
  • Secure, covered and conveniently located bike parking
  • Showers, lockers and towel service
  • On-site facilities and/or staff for basic bike repairs
  • Company bike fleets, including loaner bikes
  • Incentives and rewards
  • Safe cycling classes and materials
  • Group commute rides – bike ‘convoys’
  • Routing and mapping assistance
  • Bike-community building

All of the above can be implemented for a fraction of the cost of the alternatives. It’s fast to deploy, inexpensive and it’s what the future workforce wants.


As HR hones its tactics for competitive recruitment, it would be wise to collaborate with Real Estate, Facilities and Transportation because infrastructure planned today will impact the workforce for years to come.

If real estate deals, construction projects, landscape architecture and space planning continue to cater to motorized transportation, facilities will be out-of-date and out-of-sync with its workforce within a decade.

The Millennial workforce wants, and fully expects, to get around by bike. And that doing so will be safe, convenient and, above all else, a given. The companies who know and act on this will attract and retain the very best, and thus be more competitive now and in the future.

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With Ariadne Scott, Bicycle Program Coordinator at Stanford Parking & Transportation Services.