Government of SA - Department for Infrastructure and Transport
Community Programs
Community Programs Top Banner Image

Creating a bike friendly workplace in South Australia

Creating a bike culture at your workplace can bring real benefits for both your business and employees. It doesn't need to be costly, and isn't as hard as you might think. Here are some suggestions for how your workplace can help make someone's decision to ride to work an easy one.

The benefits of creating a workplace bike culture can:

  • improve employee health and wellbeing : People who regularly commute by bike on average take one less sick day a year than non-bike riders. [1] There are many other health and wellbeing benefits - meaning happier, more productive employees. [2]
  • save time (and arrive on time) : For shorter journeys, 5km or less, travel time by bike is very often quicker than by car. [3] Bike riders are unlikely to be held up by heavy traffic congestion, and so have predictable journey times, getting them to work on or their meeting on time.
  • save money : Having staff riding by bike for short work journeys can save the workplace money too, reducing expenditure on taxis or fleet cars. Employees who also ride to work can make substantial savings by not paying for fuel or parking costs faced by their driving colleagues.
  • relieve parking pressures : Encouraging employees to ride to work can reduce demand for scarce or costly car parking provision. Although you might want to consider that ten bikes can fit to one car space!
  • support achieving corporate social responsibility : A culture of bike riding can contribute to an organisation's environmental and health targets, and sends a great message to the community about your organisation's commitment to these goals.

[1] Australian Bicycle Council & Cycling Promotion Fund, 2011 Australian cycling: An economic overview. Cycling Promotion Fund, Melbourne.

[2] Cycling Promotion Fund, 2008 Economic Benefits of Cycling for Australia, Cycling Promotion Fund, Melbourne.

[3] Austroads, 2010 The Australian National Cycling Strategy 2011-2016, Austroads, Sydney.

Ways to support employees

Gather information

Find out from staff what would motivate them to ride, and what currently stops them, so that you can try to address these barriers. You might want to consider joining DPTI's smarter travel @ work program, which can help you gather this information from a staff survey.

Gain buy-in from management

It's important to gain the support of management so that employees know that it's okay to arrive at work by bike. Chat to management about bike riding and if needed make a case based on sharing the many benefits of riding to work. This will also make it easier for you to get support for future initiatives that support bike riding (e.g. bike safety courses).

Build a network

Establish a Bicycle User Group. This can be as simple as creating an e-mail group for a workplace's bike riders, so that they can share information, or it can be a more formal group that works to promote bike riding within the workplace. Nominate 'bike-friendly' staff members, such as existing bike riders, that people can go to for advice on riding to work. Link people who live in close proximity and arrange 'bicycle buddies' for beginners.

Encouraging people to ride

Encourage staff to use the Cycle Instead Journey Planner to identify safe bike routes for their journeys. Also consider providing or subsidising bike skills proficiency courses for staff. Encourage the use of 'flexi-time' to facilitate riding to/from work (e.g. in daylight and off peak for beginners).

Promote bike riding

Provide bike-related information, resources and good news stories to your workplace via e-mail, the office intranet and staff noticeboards (refer resources on the right of this page). Once you've established momentum, keep it going. Maintain the conversation with your colleagues and management about bike riding, and continue to support staff to keep riding.

Facilities and equipment

Purpose-built bike parking, showers and lockers are helpful to have, but you don't need to install expensive facilities to create a bike friendly workplace. Is there an under-utilised space you might be able to designate as a bike storage area? There might also be existing bike parking available near your building; some car parks offer secure bike storage. Does your building have any showers? If not, you could consider approaching a nearby business or gym for your employees to use their shower facilities. Once you've clarified what is available, make sure you promote this to staff so that everyone knows what they can use. If you do have an interest in installing bike parking, there is a range of space-efficient bicycle parking racks and rails available - DPTI's Cycling & Walking Section can provide you with advice.

It's helpful to have a pump and spare tools available to reassure staff they won't be stranded at work by punctures or small mechanical issues.

You could also consider establishing a work bike or bike fleet. A bike can be a great addition to an organisation's vehicle fleet, helping to reduce transport costs, contribute to staff health and fitness, and improve the environmental sustainability of work travel. Tips and resources for getting a work bike up and running, including advice on addressing Work, Health & Safety concerns, are available here.

We offer a number of programs that can also assist in creating a bike friendly workplace:

  • smarter travel @ work can work with you to encourage your staff to adopt safer, greener and more active travel choices. We will help you undertake a staff travel survey, analyse the results, and recommend initiatives tailored to your workplace.

You can find links to other resources such as bike maps and law information to the right.

Case studies


Difficult to read?

Zoom in or out by holding down the "CTRL" key and pressing - or + key

To RESET, see your Internet Browser viewing options

SA Government logo. Premiers website Government of SA - Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure SA Government logo. Premiers website