Bikes 4 Employees (formerly called Bike 4 Essential Workers) is a program of the Detroit Greenways Coalition with leadership from Scott Benson, Detroit Councilman from District 3, and program management by Tim Springer, The Greenway Guy.
In 2021, the second year of the program, 20 high quality bicycles were given to essential workers who needed them to get to work. Two more bikes were provided as house bikes for a group home. Locks, lights, helmets, racks with clip-on packs, bike pumps, and reflective vests were given with each bike.
Bike recipients were selected from among applicants recruited by partner organizations, including: Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, Flex-N-Gate, Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford Health System, and Matrix Human Services. Individuals who did not have reliable cars were prioritized for bikes. Bike recipients were mostly women and mostly African American, ranging in age from 23 to 69. Motivations related to health, mobility for getting to work, saving money, family time, and the environment.
- 100% of bike recipients achieved at least one of their self-identified goals, 61% achieved all of them
- 41% of all work commutes were made by bike, more than any other mode (Goal: 40% ✔️)
- 94% saved money with an average savings of $77/month (Goal: 75% ✔️)
- 100% believe their health improved because of biking (Goal: 75% ✔️)
- 83% believe their outlook on life improved
- 78% believe biking had a positive impact on others in their lives
- 89% used their bikes for riding outside of work commutes
- “Free” was once again the most used adjective to describe how it feels when biking
- Rain, cold, and snow are the most common weather-related challenges
In 2022, the third year of the program, additional data will be gathered to plan for greatly expanding the program in future years, hopefully eventually serving all Detroiters who need bikes for transportation.
Scott Benson, Detroit City Councilman
Carol Banks, Chief of Staff for Councilman Benson
Tim Springer, The Greenway Guy
Kerwin Wimberley, Senior Policy Analyst for Councilman Benson
2021 Program Partners and Funders
Detroit Greenways Coalition (fiscal sponsor), Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, Flex-N-Gate, Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford Health System, Hutchison Funeral Home, Kali Protectives (helmets), Kryptonite (locks and lights), Matrix Human Services
- Keeping Detroit Moving: Lessons from the 2020 Essential Workers E-Bike Pilot, City of Detroit
- E-bike Incentive Programs in North America: New Online Tracker, TREC/Portland State University
- CDOT Launches Program to Distribute 5,000 Free Bikes and Safety Equipment By 2026, City of Chicago, July 2022
- Mitch Albom: Your old bicycle just got a great new reason to roll, Detroit Free Press, February 2022