We’ve long believed in the benefits of downtown offices for our employees, creating dense and connected urban campuses rather than isolated office parks in the suburbs. This approach helps us recruit great talent and stitch ourselves into the local community with projects like Mary’s Place and our Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund.
This was our strategy more than 10 years ago when we started planning our growth in Seattle’s South Lake Union. Now it’s the path we’re implementing in Bellevue, Washington; Arlington, Virginia; and Nashville, Tennessee—some of our fastest-growing corporate locations in the U.S.
One of the often overlooked benefits of this approach is sustainability. Employees can use public transportation to get to the office, and if they live nearby, they can walk or bike. In Seattle, more than 20% of our employees walk or bike to work and another 50% use public transportation or carpooling options—and we provide free transit passes to all employees.
As our teams get ready to gradually return to the office, we’re launching a new commuter benefit for our corporate employees in the U.S. to encourage green mobility: Amazon will pay for their bike costs.
“We are looking forward to welcoming our employees back to our offices and want to encourage them to rethink the way they get to and from work, so we’re creating new incentives to pick a greener way to commute—even if it is just one to two days a week,” said John Schoettler, vice president of Global Real Estate and Facilities. “Reducing our carbon footprint is a multifaceted effort that includes building urban and well-connected campuses, designing buildings that use renewable energy, and making it easy for employees to choose public transportation over their single-occupancy vehicles.”
Amazon employees who bike to work will receive a subsidy to cover associated costs, including:
- Bike leases: Employees can lease a take-home bike, including e-bikes, for a monthly fee eligible for reimbursement.
- Bike share: Employees can expense costs for dockless or docked short-term, app-based rental bicycles.
- Maintenance: Employees can take advantage of two complimentary tune-ups each calendar year.
- Bike parking: Employees can access bike parking at public transit facilities or offices without Amazon bike cages.
These bike benefits are available to all employees who haven’t signed up for ongoing parking in an Amazon parking garage. The new monthly bike subsidy ranges from city to city to correspond with local parking costs, which can be up to $400.
In addition to offering bike cages for employees to store their bikes, most of Amazon’s corporate offices also have showers for bikers to get ready at work.
“Cascade Bicycle Club salutes Amazon for providing its employees with an incentive to pedal rather than drive,” said Tamara Kim Schmautz, board president of Cascade Bicycle Club. “Transportation is the leading source of carbon emissions in Seattle and nationwide, so we encourage more employers to do the same as we all work to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, alleviate traffic congestion, as well as boost health and wellness.”