Long famous for its coffee culture, Seattle is increasingly becoming recognized for its bike culture, too. From this trend, it’s no surprise that the city’s most recognized coffee company also promotes biking to work. BizCycle congratulates Starbucks Coffee Company on their silver level certification. The company headquarters earned 25 of 50 possible credits.
I usually need at least one cup of coffee to get myself on my bike in the morning but for Starbucks partners, pedaling to work is motivated by more than just a steaming mug of Pikes Place Roast. Employees who commute by bike receive either $25 every month or a membership to the facility’s onsite gym. Brent Stavig, the Employee Transportation Coordinator at Starbucks, remarks that incentives aren’t the only factors contributing to the bike culture.
“The physical fitness aspect is certainly important, as are the cost savings and lessened environmental impact, but there’s a pride issue as well,” Brent explained in an email, “and I think that our partners feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when they commute by bicycle.”
The commute to the Starbucks Corporate Headquarters in SODO isn’t always easy. As Stavig described, “1st Avenue South is basically a freeway, and even though there are ‘sharrows’, trying to share lanes with large delivery trucks and harried motorists presents safety issues.” A lack of safe infrastructure makes bicycling an intimidating endeavor, especially for first-time bike commuters.
Despite external infrastructure challenges, a vigorous bicycle community has formed at Starbucks, and Stavig hopes that BizCycle certification will lend more visibility to the support offered to bicyclists at the workplace. The application process also gave him some ideas for improvement. What’s brewing on the to-do list: increasing capacity for employee bike parking and considering ways to make the outdoor visitor bike rack more visible.
Also, as a sponsor of Bike Month, Starbucks is offering a free brewed beverage to cyclists on Bike to Work Day, May 17. Just show your helmet at these participating Starbucks® locations and pick up a free tall (12 fl.oz.) beverage as a reward for your extra leg work!
What gets you on your bike in the morning? Is it a workplace that supports your two-wheeled commute—or maybe you wish that were it? Whether your organization deserves accolades or could use a boost regarding bike commuting, BizCycle can help. Check out bizcycle.cascade.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.