Amazon wants its employees to bike to work so much it will pay them to do it.
The e-commerce and cloud computing giant announced today it will be paying employees $350 a month to HQ2 employees to cover the costs associated with cycling, from rentals to maintenance to parking at public transit stations.
The news comes as the company prepares to return its still-remote employees to in-person work. In Arlington, Amazon is currently leasing a number of office spaces in Crystal City while the two phases of its forthcoming permanent campus in Pentagon City, Metropolitan Park and PenPlace, continue to take shape.
As of May Amazon had more than 1,600 Arlington employees and was in the process of hiring for 1,900 new positions in a variety of technical and non-tech roles.
More from the bike announcement on then Amazon blog:
“We are looking forward to welcoming our employees back to our offices and want to encourage them to rethink the way they get to and from work, so we’re creating new incentives to pick a greener way to commute — even if it is just one to two days a week,” said John Schoettler, vice president of Global Real Estate and Facilities. “Reducing our carbon footprint is a multifaceted effort that includes building urban and well-connected campuses, designing buildings that use renewable energy, and making it easy for employees to choose public transportation over their single-occupancy vehicles.”
Amazon employees who bike to work will receive a subsidy to cover associated costs, including:
- Bike leases: Employees can lease a take-home bike, including e-bikes, for a monthly fee eligible for reimbursement.
- Bike share: Employees can expense costs for dockless or docked short-term, app-based rental bicycles.
- Maintenance: Employees can take advantage of two complimentary tune-ups each calendar year.
- Bike parking: Employees can access bike parking at public transit facilities or offices without Amazon bike cages.
These bike benefits are available to all employees who haven’t signed up for ongoing parking in an Amazon parking garage.
The plans for HQ2’s two phases include a number of bike and transit-friendly facilities.
Each office building will have dedicated street-level bike entrances, and the campus will feature one-quarter mile of new protected bike lanes and more than 950 on-site bike spaces.
The bike subsidy announcement notes that other bicycling amenities are included at Amazon offices.
“In addition to offering bike cages for employees to store their bikes, most of Amazon’s corporate offices also have showers for bikers to get ready at work,” the announcement said.
On social media, local cyclists were generally complimentary of the new benefit, though with some reservations.
$350 a month to bike to work is a pretty amazing incentive. Back in the day @AmericanU used to offer something like $20 a month, and only in checks you could use at a bike store. But that was more than enough for me. https://t.co/ycGzZhQvIo
— Martin Austermuhle (@maustermuhle) July 1, 2021
It’ll put more people on the road, some of who will go on to become bike/pedestrian activists. I wish all companies provided benefits like this, regardless of how unbikeable their locations are. I wonder how the number was calculated- I bet some of it is coming from garage costs
— Omar Sardar (@osardar1) July 1, 2021
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