Google’s ‘visionary’ plan to double the number of employees riding bikes

The Google Bike Vision Plan was created with a clear goal in mind: double the number of employees riding bicycles.

Google wants more bikes and less cars in the Silicon Valley, that’s the reason why it created the Google Bike Vision Plan: an ambitious programme plan aimed to double the number of employees biking work, who now accounts for 10% of all employees (20% considering only those who live within 15 km from Googleplex).

Google bike vision plan
A map in Google’s plan showing low-stress bike networks.

Northern Santa Clara County is home to many high-tech corporations and is an area where most people prefer to commute by car (almost always alone) than with other means of transport. Google already committed itself to promote the large-scale use of shuttle bus fleets, and now the vast majority of Google employees don’t commute by car. But as Google itself said, “We can do better”.

That’s why the Big G has already introduced:

  • over 1,000 bicycles and e-bikes free to use for employees, which allow employees to travel quickly between different offices;
  • bike racks and bike storage on their shuttle bus fleet;
  • hundreds of bike racks at all entrances and exits, as well as bike parking inside the buildings of Cupertino;
  • boxes of bicycle helmets at each building entrance and exit;
  • showers, lockers, changing rooms, and other amenities important to people who commute by bicycle.

Google Bike Vision Plan identifies four categories of people when it comes to bicycling: the strong and fearless who have trained hard and are comfortable in all situations, the enthused and confident who seek out low-stress streets when available, the interested but concerned who are the absolute majority and, finally, those who are not interested in bicycling.

Following are the key points of the plan:

  • residents of all abilities, from ages 8 to 80 must feel safe and comfortable riding a bicycle;
  • increase from 10 to 20% the number of Google’s employees commuting by bike;
  • follow the example of Denmark, Netherlands and Germany as regard bicycling;
  • allow the employees to bike to work with their kids;
  • provide connected, safe, and convenient networks for every bicyclist;
  • “our vision”: North County-as-Copenhagen, with bicycle priority corridors;
  • create low-stress facilities to have the interested but concerned try bicycling.

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