In celebration of Bike to Work Month, Justworks gave six companies free Citi Bike memberships for a year to encourage the happiness and health of their employees. With all the buzz around biking to work this month, you may wonder if the perk is the right fit for your team. Kristy Zoshak, Director of Sales and Marketing at Citi Bike, spoke with us on Bike to Work Day about why Citi Bike is such a great perk for both employers and employees. She also gave us tips on her favorite places to pedal and resources for new riders in New York.
Q&A with Citi Bike's Kristy Zoshak
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today! Why should a company offer Citi Bike as a perk? How did you partner with Justworks to help offer companies this option? We really think Citi Bike makes going to work more fun. We see it as a good opportunity for companies to offer a healthier and greener mode of transportation. From what I understand, Justworks reached out to us about getting some memberships to give away as part of a contest. Both sides saw a lot of value in the partnership and everything went from there.
Why is it advantageous for employers to offer this to their teams?
There are a couple reasons. It’s a really cost effective, convenient, and fun way for employees to get to work. Studies have shown that employees who exercise are more healthy and productive at work. Biking in particular helps people focus their brain. Also, employers struggle for a place for employees to store their bikes, so we take it out of the equation for them. It’s a nice way to show employees you’re committed to sustainability and it helps with that as well.
Definitely, I imagine a Citi Bike membership can make employees feel more valued.
Any time an employer offers a new perk, employees see it as the employer being committed and it makes people happier. CitiBiking makes people happier and more productive. Any time I work out before I come into the office, I feel better and have a better day. Citi Bike is the way to get your workout and commute in all at once.
You spoke about employees not having to store their bikes somewhere as one advantage. What are other special advantages of Citi Bike over a traditional bike?
Citi Bike makes it easy to bike one way. If you don’t bike in because it was raining, you can subway in and Citi Bike home later. If you Citi Bike to work and then coworkers want to go out for happy hour, you don’t have to worry about drinking and riding. Fifty percent of our members have their own bike, and I think Citi Bike is the best of both worlds.
Considering getting Citi Bike for your team?
That’s true! A lot of my friends have their own bikes and a Citi Bike membership as well. They enjoy the flexibility. What can people who get nervous about bike riding in the city do to feel more comfortable?
Biking in the city is something that can definitely feel intimidating, and there are a lot of resources out there. The Department of Transportation (DOT) makes a bike map and they give it away, you can call 311 or visit the DOT website and a lot of bike shops in NYC give it as well. It’s good for finding where the bike lanes and low traffic routes are. Our app helps with planning as well.
Are there certain precautions people can take to avoid city hazards?
Living in NYC, there are hazards that happen no matter what you’re doing, whether you’re walking or getting on the subway. Having an awareness of your surroundings is important, and that applies to anything you’re doing. The other thing I love about biking, is think about how people are worried about driving in the city. If you’re driving and get nervous, you’re stuck in that car. If you’re riding in the city and you get nervous, you hop off the bike and get off, no big deal. You can walk it to a Citi Bike station because they’re all over the place. You can start by taking shorter trips and going a little further and getting more comfortable. And the next thing you know, you’re the one harassing everyone to go ride with you!
You mentioned the resources people can use to plan and feel more safe on the road. What about groups they can join?
Bike New York offers Citi Bike street skills classes and if people poke around on the website, they also offer other training classes, but that’s a good way to get out and meet people. Transportation Alternatives is also a great place that advocates for safer biking and walking in NYC. And the DOT bike map is free.
What great bikes rides have you been on lately?
Before I started working here, I didn’t bike in NYC and now I think, ‘I didn’t bike today, I need to get on my bike!’ I started with my neighborhood and have been slowly building up my confidence. Last week, I biked from Sunset Park to Long Island City. It’s really fun.
What Justworks & Citi Bike Perks Offer
If you sign up for a Citi Bike membership through Justworks, your employees will receive: - An annual Citi Bike membership with unlimited rides - Access to 8,000 bikes between 400 stations in NYC You can learn more about pricing and how to sign up here.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.