In New Zealand a company pays its employees to go to work by bicycle

In New Zealand a company pays its employees to go to work by bicycle

The promised amount ranges from 5 to 10 euros, depending on the frequency of journeys made by employees, and the initiative was launched by an advertising agency

In New Zealand, and precisely in the city of Christchurch, a company is offering its employees cash in order to reach the workplace by bicycle every day, in an attempt to give energy to the staff and reduce the use of cars in the country .

The employees who will pedal to go and get back from work will receive about five euros a day, a sum that will be doubled – reaching almost ten euros – for those who will respect the initiative for more than half a year.

Workers will then receive the promised sum in the form of bonuses at the end of the year.

“For some time I thought it would be nice to encourage cycling in some way. I am a passionate cyclist and money is clearly the most obvious incentive, ” said Tim Chesney, one of the makers of the Make Collective advertising agency, which launched the initiative.

“My thought is that it could turn out to be a really good thing. When I ride myself I feel much more energetic, I feel my blood flowing. ”

Chesney told Stuff  that initially some employees were reluctant because of the lack of showers in the office, but the offer of hundreds of euros more in the paycheck eventually convinced everyone, or almost: five of his six employees at the end has joined.

“The extra money comes directly from the profits of the company, but I really believe that there will be many tangible benefits thanks to the fact of coming and going from work by bike”.

Software developer Elliot Gilmore explained that the hardest part is to recover from the journey once you arrive at the office, but that the benefit to your health is better than a gym membership.

“So far it has been fantastic. I mean, I can walk through Hagley Park and see the people feeding the ducks, reading books and doing stuff. ”

The city of Christchurch has more cyclists than any other city in New Zealand, and has 13 major cycle paths running through the city center, reduced to a heap of debris from the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

Transport minister Julie Anne Genter said that investment in cycle lanes is a key feature of the city’s reconstruction, and that the urban cycle path construction program costs more than € 120 million.

“Safe cycling is a key part of making Christchurch a healthy, happy, vibrant and full of people, rather than traffic,” said Genter.