When Mario Edwards signed up for the bike program at work, he was hoping to save a little extra cash. He wasn’t expecting to drastically change his lifestyle.
An IT engineer at Sonos, Edwards had not owned a bicycle since he was a teenager. “The lease was up on my car, and I didn’t want to get a new car. I really don’t venture out of Santa Barbara these days, so I thought a bike would be a great solution.”
Fortunately, his employer sees bikes as a solution too. Sonos began offering bike benefits to its Santa Barbara employees in April 2015.
Alejandra Reyes, a work experience coordinator, says the 27 bikes in the company’s bike share fleet offer exercise and a welcome reprieve from traffic and parking difficulties. “We have very limited parking. We wanted to make it as quick and easy as possible to get around.”
The Smart Ride program encourages employees to take it a step further by commuting to work sustainably. Of 379 employees, 197 are currently participating. The program offers several different options, each with its own set of benefits, including cash bonuses for each day of riding and raffle prizes.
Edwards picked the Fast Cash option. He received $600 toward the purchase of a bicycle at one of the four local shops Sonos has contracted with. The expertise of the local shop workers was very helpful in the process. “They were actually instrumental in what bike I chose. They looked at my height and decided I needed a bigger size bike.”
In order to keep the bike, Edwards had to ride to work 60 times. At that point, he began earning cash rewards for each daily commute logged.
The bike Edwards earned has now become his daily ride. “I mostly use my bike for commuting back and forth to work. This is now my primary mode of transportation and it feels great. I ride all over town—beach, mountains, everywhere.”