The thinking behind PleaseCycle, a new London based startup, is an Air Miles system for bikes. A way of rewarding people for choosing a green mode of transport for commuting.
Once your company has signed up for PleaseCycle you then start logging miles. This allows you to view CO2 emissions saved and redeem credits for various incentives. These include charity donations, discounts and employee benefits such as additional holiday days.
The whole system works around the Cycle Hub. Which is an online panel that includes route planners, forums, savings calculators and everything else an employee would need to start cycling. Within the system you can log your daily mileage through either the hub website, Twitter or a mobile app. This then accrues BikeMiles.
The points can then be tallied in leaderboards which could be used to encourage friendly competition between colleagues, in a similar fashion to the London Cycle Challenge by TfL.
PleaseCycle has already snapped up the first few clients keen to show off their green credentials and reward their employees for cycling. Reckitt Benckiser are using the system to raise money for Children in Need. Other clients include a hotel which allows guests to log their mileage and a university for their students.
There’s only two downsides I can think of to the idea. The first is that having to incentivise cycling with rewards suggests cycling is something people wouldn’t want to do anyway. Surely cycling in itself is enough of a reward?
The second is that it may give companies the feeling they are doing everything they can for cycling when perhaps they should be providing cyclist friendly facilities such as secure parking and showers.
Overall however, I believe PleaseCycle has great potential. For companies it’s a turnkey solution for encouraging employees to cycle. It also allows them to show off their green credentials by displaying the CO2 emissions saved by their employees. For workers it provides an extra encouragement to cycle to work which may just be the bump in the right direction many people need. As the solution only costs a company a couple of hundred pounds to get started with a basic package, businesses have one less excuse to not encourage cycling!