Solving Cities

London startup: 'Bike miles' system rewards cycling to work

Posting in Energy

A London startup is helping employers encourage employees to bike to work using a new "bike miles" system. See how it works.

In the same way that frequent flyers get rewards for air travel, shouldn't cyclists get rewards for making a sustainable trip to work?

A London cleantech startup, PleaseCycle, thinks so. The company created a digital hub to help employers encourage more bicycle commuting using a "bike miles" reward system. Employees track the miles they commute on bike using Twitter or a mobile app and use the miles to redeem anything from retail discounts to days off.

“We believe that one day every business worth their salt will have a Cycle Hub," said PleaseCycle's 23-year-old co-founder Ry Morgan in a statement. "The technology seamlessly allows companies to instill game-mechanics into their sustainability agenda, tracking the carbon saved and offering achievements to staff. Clients are already using the Hub to incentivise employees with everything from extra holiday time to discounted cycle equipment through our retail partners. We are essentially creating an Air Miles for bikes.”

Since its beta launch earlier this month, over 5,000 miles have been logged using the system. During that time, staff at the U.K. company Reckitt Benckiser tested out the program and logged miles equivalent to three lengths of Britain, with a savings of four London-Paris flights worth of carbon.

But it's not just good for the environment and a benefit to cyclists, it's a benefit to employee health and productivity, which in turn is good for business.

What do you think? Would the "bike miles" get your office to bike to work more?

Photo: SlipStreamJC/Flickr

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure