Capital Metro has been talking with some businesses located near the Red Line about employer-sponsored vanpools from a MetroRail station to the employer’s facility. Several employees with a similar work schedule could ride in on the train, and then share a van for the last leg of the trip to work. Capital Metro set up one of these special vanpools from Plaza Saltillo for our own employees who work at one of the two Capital Metro facilities on Pleasant Valley.
Today Capital Metro unveiled a new option for our employees to navigate the “last mile” between the train station and work: a bike-share program between our facilities and Plaza Saltillo. Employees who need to head north or go downtown for meetings can check out a bicycle, ride down to Plaza Saltillo and lock it up there to board the train. The bicycles offer more flexibility than the set schedule for the vanpool program, and it also provides another way to encourage physical activity.
The bike share program is a pilot program to see what kind of interest there is, and also to learn what challenges might need to be addressed to make the program successful long-term. A bike share program might be a good model for other businesses who want to encourage alternate commuting, reduce their parking costs, and increase the activity levels of their employees.
The Employee Bike Share ‘Last Mile’ Program At a Glance:
- The program consists of 4 bikes – 2 cruiser bikes (Townies) and 2 mountain bikes (Hardrock Sports). The bikes are “hand me downs” that were retired from our Wellness program. They are supplied with 4 waterproof/fabric covers/bags; 4 helmets; 4 heavy gauge combination bike locks (each helmet, cover, and lock will be transported with its bike). These bikes are marked as ‘Commuter Bikes’.
- Bike racks at Capital Metro’s headquarters building and at Plaza Saltillo will be designated for these bikes. Bikes are restricted for use only to and from these two points, and only by Capital Metro employees; they can be used for one-way or round trips, and left (covered and locked) at either location. Both locations are within security camera view.
- Employees who want to use the bikes must first register for the program and watch a short bike safety video. They also agree to abide by the rules of the program, and sign a waiver of liability. After they register, they are given the combination for the bike locks and can start riding!
- The program includes a maintenance schedule for the bikes, and a coordinator to call if anything goes wrong while an employee is riding.
Want to learn more about bike-sharing? The Austin American-Statesman published a great story about the potential for citywide bike-sharing here in Austin, modeled after a brand new program in San Antonio. A cool video accompanied the story: