Bike-friendly business highlight: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Certified last spring, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a BizCycle Gold workplace. The Gates foundation, with more than 1000 employees at the Seattle headquarters, offers a robust program to encourage alternative commuting and entices employees to bike with top-of-the-line bicycle accommodations.

While driving to work incurs a $9 charge in daily parking, the Gates Foundation will pay employees $3 per day to arrive by bike or another alternative mode. Currently just over 6.5 percent of employees bike regularly and 0.5 percent take a bike-transit multi-modal trip. The commute incentives and mode splits are tracked through a commute tracking program where employees self-report their commute habits to receive benefits. Each employee has access to a My Impact page through the program that displays vehicle miles traveled, number of trips reduced, vehicle cost savings, CO2 reductions and gas savings.

The internal commute policies and data tracking components to the Gates Foundation’s commute program work in tandem with excellent end-of-trip facilities. The foundation has 142 spaces of secure, long-term bike parking for employee use. Visitors can take advantage of 30 spaces of bike rack parking located around the foundation headquarters. Bike commuters are welcome to clean up in the locker rooms of the onsite gym, housing 560 lockers for storage. And for those all-weather commuters, there’s a heated mud room to hang and dry wet clothing—worthy of an innovation credit in the infrastructure category.

In addition to internal support for bicycling, the Gates Foundation has been an active community leader for safer streets. In the past year the foundation has also made an effort to encourage participation in the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan Update, inviting employees to submit an infrastructure wish list during the comment period for the update draft.

Those are just the highlights; overall the Gates Foundation earned 38 out of 50 possible credits for the great work the organization is doing to encourage bicycling. Congratulations!

Do you work for a bike-friendly workplace or are you wondering how you could make your place of business more so? Contact for resources on bike-friendly business best practices and to apply for BizCycle certification.

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