While San Francisco celebrates Bike to Work Day once a year, City employees can bike during work 365 days a year.
Thousands of San Franciscans will get to work on two wheels for Bike to Work Day, but for many San Francisco City employees, biking is the norm. Five percent of City employees bike to work on a regular basis, and thanks to the growing CityCycle program, 11 percent use a bike to get around town for work according to the biennial municipal employee transportation survey.
Like many cities, San Francisco has a fleet of cars and trucks to help get City employees to and from their daily duties, but San Francisco is the first major city in the nation to offer bike sharing to City employees through the CityCycle program. CityCycle, which is administered by the San Francisco Department of the Environment, provides San Francisco City departments with a sustainable, healthy transportation option for official business. Employees can use bicycles for any reason they would otherwise use a fleet car, such as attending meetings, going on patrol, conducting outreach, managing park maintenance, and more. The program is funded by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority through the Transportation Fund for Clean Air.
CityCycle is one way the City is leading by example to reduce carbon emissions and achieve the city-wide goal of having 50 percent of all trips taken by walking, biking, or on public transit.
“CityCycle provides City government employees with a fun, healthy way to get around town in a way that also helps reduce carbon emissions,” said Melanie Nutter, director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment. The Department of the Environment has deployed 250 CityCycle bikes in 23 departments to encourage City employees to conduct official business on bikes instead of in cars. "On Bike to Work Day, it's great to remember that, through CityCycle, bikes are offered as a valuable transportation option and can be accessed during work hours any day of the year.”
In addition to cutting down on emissions, CityCycle is helping the City reduce transportation costs. “Maintaining and fueling cars obviously costs a lot more than maintaining bicycles,” said Tom Fung, the City’s Fleet Services Manager. “Promoting the use of bikes when they can be used for work trips, instead of fleet cars, makes sense for the City’s budget,” he said.
Bicycling is proving to be a popular transportation option for City employees. According to the 2012 CityCycle Report, City employees self-reported having biked approximately 500,000 miles during work. While most City employees choose to bike primarily to stay in shape, health is only one of several motivations to use CityCycle.
Officer Ivan Sequeira from the San Francisco Police Department is one of about ten employees in his office who use CityCycle. “I like biking, and CityCycle provides an effective way to get to meetings at a low cost to the department. Not to mention, it’s good exercise.”
Lavinia Meadows from the San Francisco Human Services Agency combines modes of transportation and puts her CityCycle bike on the bus to get to her destinations even faster. “I have biked to work for most of the 27 years I have worked for the City, and am excited that I can now bike while at work. Biking to my destinations is fun, and the mobility makes me feel safe and empowered.”
Michelle Miner from the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department uses a CityCycle bike to get to meetings once or twice a week. “I work in Golden Gate Park, and use the CityCycle because why would I drive if I can bike through this beautiful park instead?” she said.
Celebrate bicycling with City Employees on Bike to Work Day!
Join the Department of the Environment and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition at one of 26 “Energizer Stations” at City Hall, providing cyclists with snacks, beverages and convenient reusable tote bags in the morning.
Time & location: Thursday, May 9th from 7:30-9:30am on the Polk Street steps in front of City Hall.
Visual opportunity: Meet and talk to San Francisco employees who use CityCycle at 8:15am on the Polk Street steps, right before the Bike to Work Day press conference. The Department of the Environment will also be making smoothies with a pedal-powered blender.
Michelle Miner from the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department
The CityCycle seal is branded on CityCycle bikes.