FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #08-024
DOT and Transportation Alternatives Announce Winners of Bike Friendly Business Competition
Winners stand out for their commitment to promote bicycle commuting and using bicycles in their business operations
New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Transportation Alternatives (TA) Executive Director Paul Steely-White today announced the winners of the inaugural Bike Friendly Business Competition. Credit Suisse was chosen for promoting bicycle commuting by providing exemplary indoor bike-parking facilities, while Birdbath Neighborhood Green Bakery was chosen for its use of cyclists instead of fuel-burning vehicles to make deliveries. The New York City Department of Small Business Services and members of the New York City Council were supportive in indentifying entrants to the competition.
"Doubling the number of bike commuters is a key goal of our strategic plan and it's truly a breakthrough to see businesses embracing biking either as a commuting option for their employees, or as part of how they do day-to-day business," New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said. "With our bike-lane and bike-rack programs we are building bicycles into the City's infrastructure, and we're gratified that the private sector also recognizes the role of bicycles in today's business model."
"Employers hold many of the cards when it comes to making New York City a bike-friendly place. When they support bike commuters or conduct business by bicycle, they make it that much easier for New Yorkers to do the right thing," said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. "T.A. congratulates Credit Suisse and Birdbath Bakery for leading by example."
The judges, made up of DOT and TA representatives, selected the international financial services company Credit Suisse in the category of "Bicycle Friendly Workplaces: Commuting Cyclists." At its buildings at 24 East 24th Street and at One Madison Avenue in Manhattan, Credit Suisse's entrances provide easy access for those with bicycles. Employees also have access to secure bicycle rooms where they can register their bikes and receive swipe-card access, along with bike identification tags. Air pumps to fill flat tires are located in the room, which also displays promotional materials for cycling activities. Credit Suisse promotes the availability of bike parking to its employees, and they are further encouraged by an employee discount to a health club next door, where showers and lockers are available.
"We are honored to be recognized by the New York City Department of Transportation and Transportation Alternatives for contributing to their efforts to reduce emissions in New York City," said Andrew Federbusch, Managing Director and Credit Suisse's Regional Head of Corporate Real Estate Services. "Making it easier for our employees to bike to work reflects Credit Suisse's overall mindset around environmental responsibility, both locally in the communities where we are based and globally in our work with clients. We will continue to look for ways to meet the daunting challenges of climate change, both here and around the world."
In the "Bicycle Friendly Workplaces: Working Cyclists" category, the judges selected Birdbath Neighborhood Green Bakery (the "Green" bakery arm of City Bakery), located in the East and West Villages. Both Birdbath stores, which are open seven days a week, were recognized for their use of cyclists in its business operations and for promoting their safety. Birdbath saved 350 gallons of gasoline last year by employing three full-time bicyclists to shuttle baked goods between stores using specially equipped bikes. In addition to keeping their cyclists hydrated and fortified with high-energy food, Birdbath also provides helmets, bells, and reflective gear and instructs cyclists to obey traffic laws.
"Bicycles and Birdbath are made for each other," said Maury Rubin, Owner of Birdbath. "We're reconsidering every aspect of how a food business can function more sustainably, so having bicycles be part of our daily operation is just common sense. It feels great to have eliminated the everyday use of gasoline, and we have more plans with bikes and pedal power still to come."
"Many small businesses in New York City are trailblazing creative ways to reduce their environmental footprints through responsible, savvy employee policies and delivery practices," said Robert W. Walsh, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. "These awards will rightfully recognize these businesses for their leadership and commitment to the health of our City."
"Credit Suisse and Birdbath are winners for using and storing bicycles with such vision, but so are the NYC Dept. of Transportation and Transportation Alternatives for initiating practical policies that support pedestrians, public transportation, and healthy living," said City Councilwoman Gale Brewer. "When city government and the business community work together toward a greener New York, all New Yorkers benefit."