Bicyclist Personal Facilities:

More communities and bicycling organizations are developing bike stations as a way of providing facilities for bicyclists in urban areas.

Along with secure and convenient bike parking and transit access, another prerequisite for encouraging bicycle commuting is facilities for cyclists to shower, change clothes, or otherwise "freshen up" once they arrive at the workplace. Ideally, such facilities will be located on or very near to the worksite premises and will also include lockers for storing clothing and personal items.

Since constructing showers and locker rooms can be an expensive undertaking, especially for smaller employers, some creative options might be to partner with other nearby businesses to provide facilities, or make arrangements with a nearby health club to allow bicyclists to use its facilities for a nominal fee (which the employer can opt to cover). For larger employers interested in promoting a healthy work force, bicyclists can be given free or discounted use of a company health club or workout facility. Another high-end option is to incorporate changing facilities and bike rental and repair options along with parking facilities, such as is done at the privately operated Bike Station in Long Beach, CA, and other facilities (see http://www.bikestation.org).

At Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA, over 21 percent of the staff bikes to work. Showers are available in several buildings and gymnasiums on campus, and most buildings also have commuter clothes lockers that can be rented for $16 per year. Other "perks" for nonmotorized commuters include a "Clean Air Cash Reward" and a guaranteed ride home in case of an emergency (see http://transportation.stanford.edu/alt_transportation/BikingAtStanford.shtml).

Purpose

  • Encourage bicycle commuting by providing places where employees can shower and change clothes once they arrive at the workplace.

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Considerations

  • Before investing in facilities, employers should take stock of what is already available (both at the workplace and nearby) and survey employees to learn what facility characteristics are most important to them.
  • Like other countermeasures included under the general heading of support facilities and programs, this countermeasure is most likely to be successful if combined with other measures that make it easier or more attractive to bicycle to work. Examples include bike parking (especially bike lockers), cash incentives or other rewards, and bike to work days.

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Estimated Cost

Costs will be highly variable depending upon the level of existing resources and the type of facility provided.

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Case Studies

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