By Dagmar Ivanenko, volunteer writer
While passing cyclists on my bus ride to work, I often wondered – ‘How do they do it? How can they bike to work, feel that their bike is safe and still look refreshed at work?’ Well, the secret is often in building amenities.
How do they do it?
Cyclists don’t sweat. (Just kidding).
With more and more people cycling to work, employers have responded by creating commuter-friendly amenities. When I worked in downtown Toronto, my office had a key-card access, secure bike lock-up area for all the bike commuters in the building. The building had about 10 different companies all using the shared bike lock-up area provided by the building. For the employees more prone to perspiring on their morning commutes – you know who you are – the building provided change rooms and showers which again were key-card access. These incredible amenities offered by the building for all employees helped push me to cycle to work almost every day!
On rainy days, I took a shuttle bus to and from Union Station provided by my employer. The bus would leave every 30 minutes around rush hour starting at 4 p.m.
I initially found out about these commuter amenities from my manager. Within the first few days of starting work, I was able to get access cards for both the showers and bike lock-up, putting my mind at ease!
What if your workplace is not as informative?
Ask your peers, ask your manager, ask the HR representative for your office, ask the building maintenance staff – someone will help you!
My co-worker, Charles, also cycled to work every day. Except he hadn’t asked his peers or manager about any amenities for commuters. He locked his bike up outside the building and had his seat stolen once and the entire bicycle stolen a few weeks later. It wasn’t until he had his bike stolen that he realized there were measures the building had put in place for commuters. Employers need to ensure the safety and accessibility of their workplace for commuters.
I want to improve my workplace’s amenities. How do I get started?
To make sure commuters don’t end up like Charles, pointA offers workplace and commuter assessments through the Smart Commute program. Service offerings include:
- Conducting commuter surveys to better understand current commuting habits, barriers employees face and willingness to switch to more sustainable forms of transportation;
- Workplace site assessments to understand the available infrastructure, services and programs at the workplace
- Promotion support for new transportation infrastructure such as workplace bike racks