When Amazon workers return to office buildings in the Seattle area, doing so by bicycle could pay off as the company announced Thursday that it’s adding a bike friendly commuter benefit.
Amazon will offer $170 a month to its more than 60,000 corporate and tech employees in the region to help offset costs related to cycling to work. The company says the push for greener mobility is part of its broader sustainability initiatives. And the benefit ties directly to Amazon’s commitment to building urban campuses where employees can use alternatives to single-driver transportation to get to work.
While going green may be one advantage to offering the bike subsidy, shifting gears on benefits can’t hurt in Amazon’s ongoing battle with other companies to attract talent. Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and other tech employers in the Seattle region also offer bike-related perks. The New York Times reported in June on the varied measures employers are taking to lure new hires and retain them.
Amazon says in Seattle more than 20% of its employees walk or bike to work and another 50% use public transportation or carpooling options. The company already provides free transit passes to all employees.
Several years ago Amazon made protected bike lanes part of the dedicated infrastructure around its expanded corporate headquarters in the Denny Triangle area.
According to a company blog post, the bike benefit will cover a variety of potential expenses, such as:
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. Amazon will bring a provider on-site that employees can use, or if employees prefer to use their own services, they will be reimbursed.
Bike parking: Employees can access bike parking at public transit facilities or offices without Amazon bike cages.