In New York City, bicycling is the fastest growing mode of transportation, up 35 percent from 2007 to 2008, according to Transportation Alternatives, a bicycling and public transit advocacy group.
However, riding a bike to work in the Big Apple can be a challenge for employees who do not have access to secure parking, considering some 75,000 bicycles are stolen in the city each year.
Ogilvy and Mather, a global advertising and public relations company, received complaints from employees in its New York offices, because there was no safe parking place for bicycles. The company, of course, lacked space in its existing building, but when it moved a few blocks west, O&M decided to provide more space than had been requested.
In the new building opening in June, one-third of its indoor parking lot will be dedicated to bicycle storage. There will be spaces for 150 bicycles with 50 of them filled by company-owned ones that employees can use for leisure or for business travel. O&M will also provide cyclists with free helmets and access to showers.
“In the creative industry, pragmatically, it helps us with attracting talent and I believe retaining talent in the future,” says Gunther Schumaker, chief operating officer at the firm.
Schumaker says the bike program also fits in with the company's sustainability initiatives and predicts it will cut down car-service costs for employees who travel within Manhattan.