Why do French companies have every interest in offering a company bike to their employees?
4%: this is the share of daily trips made by bicycle in France in 2019, a drop of water. 27% is the increase observed in 2020: the pump is primed.
The bicycle is on the way to becoming an everyday means of transport like the metro or the car. Some can already see the obvious evolution of the practice of velotaf (the fact of cycling to work) in Paris, Lyon, Lille, Nantes and other agglomerations in mainland France. Moreover in Strasbourg and Grenoble, it is already 17% of trips.
The electric bicycle is a fabulous tool to ensure a smooth transition of users from motorized modes of travel or public transport to an active and soft mode for journeys of around ten kilometers, i.e. more than 50% of trips to France. It allows you to enjoy the total freedom provided by the use of the bike – goodbye traffic jams, crowded cars and hello the trip alone or with colleagues – without arriving in a sweat at work.
Only problem? An electric bicycle of good manufacture costs € 2,000 including tax, to which must be added a voucher (from € 65 including tax), maintenance and insurance. The electric bicycle is actually reserved for those who can afford it… What a pity.
It is to help employees cope with this problem that hundreds of companies have seized the opportunity: they had the idea of offering function bikes as they were able to do on the car, thanks to innovative services offered by start-ups, such as Zenride.
The service offered by this start-up costs between € 35 including tax and € 45 including tax per month depending on the bike. chosen by the employee in question and included all the small services useful to the future cyclist: insurance, maintenance and assistance.
Why are they doing it?
Companies are showing that they are listening to their employees and that they understand their desires. They also show that they are attentive to changing their behavior.
By putting their hands in their pockets, companies are also reaching out to their employees and helping them solve a real daily problem: making their commute to work a little more pleasant.
But it goes much further. The company actually gives its employees access to a new way of life. Because adopting the bike is not only freeing yourself from all the constraints imposed by traffic or the vagaries of traffic incidents, it is also the discovery of total freedom, a breath of fresh air twice. per day, to come and go. To take a detour through the forest, the park, or the beach because we now have time. It is to make the youngest laugh in his baby seat or to share unique moments with the teenager. Cycling is also discovering this new café, which we would never have noticed hiding in the tram or the bus. It’s meeting this former colleague and sharing the road with him …
With something as simple as a bicycle, the employer can change the lives of their employees, and all this at a cost equivalent to the payment of public transport.
Having a positive impact on the daily life of the employee, outside of working hours, is the choice made by companies that decide to offer such a service. They also equip themselves with a differentiation tool when they compete to attract the best candidates.
There is another piece of the puzzle so that cycling can be considered by a significant part of the French: it is the famous cycle path. The State and local authorities have their role to play in order to reassure all motorists and transport users who hesitate to take the plunge because of fear.
However, we are on the right track. In ten years, the investment budget of local authorities on cycling policies increased by 40%, from 328 to 468 million euros. The State supports the cycling policies of local authorities through various mechanisms. The Cycling Plan unveiled on September 14, 2018 is accompanied by an Active Mobility Fund of 350 million euros over seven years. As part of France Relance, this Fund is supplemented with 200 million euros for 2020 – 2021. In addition to this funding from regional programs (CPER-CPIER) or endowments and funds to support investment in the territories .
Why so many investments? It is an economic calculation that takes into account the cost of developing additional public transport or increasing existing ones versus the cost of building a cycle path. The health benefits provided by the adoption of active mobility by a significant proportion of French people are also taken into account: daily cycling reduces the risk of early death by 28%.
Every employee in France deserves to have the choice of being able to travel differently to feel better. He must be able to afford it and feel secure.
Companies and the State, as well as local authorities have understood this well, and it is only a matter of time before France comes to challenge the 49% of daily trips made by bicycle in Denmark or the 30 % in Germany.