Bike Now: encouraging cycle to work

The aim of the Bike Now research project (commissioned by LTNZ) was to explore specific “actions” that could be undertaken in the context of a workplace to encourage people to take up (and continue) cycling to work. The actions included: bike buddying / mentoring (pairing an inexperienced cyclist with an experienced one); cycle skills training workshops; installing secure bike parking; setting up ‘bike buses’ (groups of people riding together) and providing a ‘cycle fleet’ at the workplace for travel during working hours, among others.

The Bike Now project involved approximately 40 workplaces in Auckland, Wellington, Nelson, and Blenheim, New Zealand for a 12 month period in 2007 and 2008. Specially trained coordinators worked with ‘champions’ within each workplace to identify the initiatives of interest in their particular location (through an online survey of employees), implement them (as was feasible), and then to complete a ‘follow up’ survey online.

Extensive resources / support materials were developed for the project. Part 1 of the Coordinators’ Manual provides a structure for recruiting businesses to participating in the programme, introducing Bike Now to staff in the workplace, operating on the online survey and reporting the results. Part 1 could be readily adapted to recruit businesses for other social marketing or travel behaviour change initiatives. Part 2 of the Coordinators’ Manual addresses the implementation of the specific Bike Now initiatives. Both parts of the Manual include templates for flyers, emails, telephone conversations, meetings, and so on. The Workshop Training Manual provides a bike-to-work skills training workshop, including tips for preparation, the timeline, session contents, and other exercises.

Other resources developed include handouts designed to assist in the implementation of specific initiatives, such as:

The final report discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the process used; the effectiveness of the initiatives implemented; and provides some guidance for future programmes to encourage cycle commuting.

While the presence of Bike Now in the workplace served to increase awareness of cycling, and encouraged some people to commence cycle commuting, none of the initiatives stood out as particularly successful.

Papers prepared / presented on Bike Now project include: