CMU business students and BIKE-PGH studying employer support of bike commuting
Greetings Commuting Forum Readers,
I am working with a group of graduate student classmates from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. We love Pittsburgh cycling and have collaborated with Bike Pittsburgh on a bicycle commuting market research project. Our study looks at ways that the city’s employers can encourage bicycle commuting. The findings will help Bike Pittsburgh communicate the importance of employer support to Pittsburgh businesses. Please take a few minutes to fill out a brief survey and make your voice heard.
We are interested in hearing from anyone employed within the Pittsburgh area, so feel free to share with cyclist and non-cyclist friends alike.
Thank you for your support!
I’m going to share this link on the Free Ride blog since we get SO many people who come in interested in commuting by bike, and mention things that hold them back from commuting by bike everyday.
Rachel, your help is really appreciated!
I hope that our study will show that there are relatively simple things that employers can do to resolve issues that hold back willing bicycle commuters.
I took the survey, and had a couple of observations. First, when it asked what modes I used over the past year, I marked cycling as one mode I’ve used. A question of two later, it seems to have asked me to “go back to a time” when I bicycle commuted. I used to bike commute more frequently (when I lived 3 miles out and not 9 miles, as at present.) I was sort of torn between “when I bike commuted” and present day. Also, I would have liked an option for “sometimes” when asked whether I need access to a vehicle while at work. I don’t need one consistently, but there are certainly days when I can not commute by bike because I have a late meeting, appointment or other “vehicle need.” There’s also no option for “well, there’s no fall back transportation option (transit) if I have to stay past 6 or 7 pm).” Finally, I think your survey has convinced me that I’d be LESS inclined to commute by cycle if there was a shower available to me. My Y is two blocks from my office, and I have NEVER used it for this purpose. If I can’t arrive at work “ready to go” (following a wipe down and a change of clothes in the rest room), I can’t bike commute — I just can do the whole shower/hair thing AFTER I get downtown. Thanks for making this clear to me. I hadn’t figured that out — really — until I took the survey.
Swalfoort, thanks for the feedback on our survey. Since you took the time to post your thoughts, I’ll try to explain the intent of some of the questions.
As you pointed out, people’s commuting situations change over time. We thought to ask about bike commuting frequency at its peak because we anticipate that it is easier to increase commutership amongst those with a history of bike commuting versus those who have always relied on a personal automobile and have never tried. Although the distance between your home and work make bicycle commuting less attractive now, it is possible that your history of frequent commuting shapes the way you evaluate potential employer incentives. When asking about vehicle need, we are trying to control for individuals for which bicycle commuting is out of the question. These individuals will presumably not value bike commuting incentives at all, and we’d therefore like to be able to evaluate their responses separately from the responses of potential commuters.
We’re glad that the survey gave you ideas about using the Y for an easier commute!
Hey, you didn’t leave any room for comments at the end of your survey. I have one — I don’t know how much real impact this survey will have, but since you’re a CMU graduate student, why not start by campaigning for bike friendliness from your own university? One thing you could do if you want to help is to talk to firstname.lastname@example.org. Currently they plan to do a study on possibly adding more bike racks in Spring 2010, and they have no plans whatsoever to work with the federal government to grant employees (including graduate students) the bike commuter tax benefit which would be $20 per month as provisioned by the Bicycle Commuter Act. I have no idea why they are not participating in this.
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