In the New York Times best-selling book Ready Player One, the protagonist powers his laptop by bicycle. While Microsoft is seeking other alternative energy sources to power the cloud, we are also big proponents of bicycle commuting at our Puget Sound campus, home to 50,000 employees. In fact, the League of American Cyclists has deemed Microsoft a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Business among other recognitions.
At our Redmond campus, Microsoft incorporates many amenities for two-wheeled commuters, including 23 covered and secure parking cages, on-site bicycle shops with subsidized tune-ups and complimentary shower facilities at all worksites. In addition to the bicycle lanes throughout our campus, the network of regional trails in Redmond extend the safe and functional experience for our cyclists. In fact, Redmond is home to the only velodrome in Washington State and proudly calls itself the Bicycle Capital of the Northwest.
For employees who choose to commute by bike, Microsoft offers many other programs as well. Participants in the Bicycle Commuter Reimbursement Program receive funding to pay for bike-related purchases and discounts at local bicycle shops. For those who combine their bike trip with the Microsoft Commuter bus system, racks are installed on all vehicles, and cyclists can even get six Guaranteed Ride Home trips per year for emergencies. Once you add in personalized commute assistance, a company email alias for sharing information and onsite free classes with Cascade Bicycle Club, it’s clear that cyclists at Microsoft have many opportunities to ease their commute. At Microsoft we are trying to walk our talk, and bike it, too.
This article was first published at Microsoft's Green Blog.