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CommuteCon 2017

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Earn-a-Bike & the Sonos Commuter Benefits Program

Alejandra Reyes
Workplace Experience Coordinator

Session Description

Sonos, Inc., a consumer electronics company headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA, has created an innovative “Earn-a-Bike” commuter program. The company’s goal is to reduce its parking needs as part of a general move toward earning a green business designation.

The Earn-a-Bike program is broken down into two primary components. First, the Fast Cash Commuter option provides maximum benefits to employees who are willing to rescind their parking privileges. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Employees who give up their parking permits earn $600 in credit toward a new bike from a local shop by logging 60 bike commutes in a year
  • Fast cash commuters also qualify for cash payouts of $5 for each day they log a sustainable commute using a qualified mode (cycling, walking, skating)
  • Cash payouts are offered after the $600 in bicycle credit has been fully earned
  • Commuters also receive a free monthly bus pass ($105 value) by logging 16 bus commutes per month

The second option is the Flexible Commuter program, designed for those who want to keep their parking permits but earn perks for choosing sustainable commuting options more often:

  • 80 bicycle commutes in a year earns $600 in credit toward a new bike from a local shop
  • After earning a new bike, flexible commuters also qualify for $2 daily cash payouts for each logged sustainable commute
  • Commuters also qualify for 10-ride bus passes

Cash payouts are made quarterly, and for every 10 sustainable commutes an employee logs, the employee is automatically given one entry in a monthly PTO raffle. Sonos also provides on-site amenities for sustainable commuters, including secure bike storage, shower and changing facilities, an office bike-share program, bicycle safety training, rainy day parking privileges and access to a “guaranteed ride home” program for emergencies and inclement weather.

The innovative program generated very high participation rates, with 174 out of 390 employees opting in for a 44 percent participation rate. The success of the Sonos program serves as an excellent case study for effective ways to incentivize behavior change.