People and Culture
Establish Recognition Programs For Employees Who Cycle And Walk

What Is It?

Organizational recognition programs for employees who cycle and walk to work confer public recognition as a means to incentivize specific commuting patterns and behavior. Recognition could take the form of a bulletin board of “eco-friendly commuters,” a Low-Carbon Commuter of the Month Award, an incentive program rewarding days cycled/walked with coupons, gift certificates, or other prizes, and a range of other options.

Learn more about how to promote green commuting programs.


Recognition programs encourage employees to walk or cycle to work, reducing the organizations’ greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector and contribution to traffic congestion. Employees benefit directly from the positive health effects of exercise while employers benefit from fewer employee sick days and increased productivity.

Challenge Participants Currently Adopting This Practice

Financing Options, Incentives, And Rebates

Additional Resources

How to design a recognition program for cyclists and walkers:

  1. Define incentives to encourage good walking and biking behavior:
    1. Bicyclists get to leave work 15 minutes early.
    2. Interest free loan deducted from paycheck to buy bike.
    3. Pre-tax Fringe Benefit – $20 per month [IRS Tax Code 132(f)].
    4. Pay employees after tax to commute to work by bike or transit. Amgen pays employees $75 / month for commuting by bike, carpool or transit 60% of the time.
    5. Pay for gym membership
  2. Define incentives to discourage car commuting:
    1. Pay employees to give up their parking spot
  3. Define recognition of employees who bike or walk to work:
    1. Dedicate a section of the company intranet site to feature a walker or biker every month.
    2. Office massage
    3. Gift card to local restaurant
    4. Ipod or Itunes gift certificate
    5. Gift card to local bike shop
    6. T-shirts and Bike Jerseys for community
    7. Lunch with a leader who walks or bikes to work
  4. Outfit the office:
    1. Supply local walking maps and biking maps
    2. Buy basic tools for office use: bike pump, allen wrenches and pedometers
    3. Provide showers and lockers
    4. Provide secure bike storage
    5. Offer Emergency Ride Home, available through local TMA
    6. More tips for bicycle commuters
  5. Organize group communications and outings:
    1. Email distribution list
    2. Breakfast bike tune-up
    3. Happy Hour
    4. Lunch walking tour
  6. Advocate for More and Safer Cycling – consider becoming a corporate sponsor of a Boston advocacy organization:
    1. LivableStreets Alliance
    2. Walk Boston
    3. Boston Cyclists’ Union
    4. Mass Bike
    5. Bikes not Bombs
  7. Communicate incentives, barriers and recognition to employees:
    1. Feature a page dedicated to walking and biking on website
    2. Post signage that encourages walking and biking
    3. Include new resources and updates in newsletters
    4. Coordinate with Bike to Work month of May festivities – Mass Commuter Challenge and Bay State Bike Week

Examples of Boston Area Businesses Promoting Walking and Cycling


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