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Tuesday, August 07, 2007
By Yokota Fritz



"The limited edition Yahoo! bike" photo from Yodel Anecdotal.

Yahoo held a huge bike fair at their Sunnyvale headquarters last week. The bike fair was organized to encourage bicycling as transportation. Specialized, local bike shop Mike's Bikes and the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition were on hand to display bikes and help people with bike commute routes.

Five lucky Yahoo employees also won a special Yahoo edition of the Specialized Globe Comp IG8 bicycle. The Globe Comp IG8 is a commuter bike with Shimano's Nexus 8 speed hub in the rear wheel, carbon fiber front fork with fender mounts, and 700x42 flat resistant street tires.

Yahoo special edition from Specialized
Yahoo special edition from Specialized
Yahoo special edition from Specialized
That purple bike is pretty hard to miss; I ran into one of the lucky winners -- Daniel -- at the Caltrain station in Mountain View, California last night and learned about the Yahoo bike fair.

Cleantech blog notes that Yahoo! is among the most successful when it comes to encouraging Yahoos to use alternate means of transportation:
36% of Yahoo headquarters employees get to work without driving solo. This is double the 18% mode-shift that the corporation committed to the City of Sunnyvale when building permits were first issued. Yahoo’s cool commute program is comprehensive, popular and getting results.

Yahoo provides employees with free VTA Eco-Passes for bus and light-rail. Many of the Yahoo commuters are able to get extra work done using laptops and other mobile devices while commuting on public transit.

Yahoo’s results are impressive considering that Silicon Valley workers are widely dispersed in search of affordable housing. Technologists work long and irregular hours, which makes ridesharing more challenging. Many Silicon Valley locations provide a long and uncomfortable walk in the dark to public transit.

Yahoo addresses these problems in a number of ways. One is that it provides a guaranteed ride home. Yahoo will pay for a late worker’s taxi or rental car. Many at the workshop agreed that a guaranteed ride home is critical to a commute programs success. All agreed that employees rarely use the guarantee, making the cost minimal.

Yahoo has a fleet of shuttles to get people to and from transit, between Yahoo locations, to airports and sometimes providing an emergency ride. Some of the shuttles run on B20 biodiesel.

It is not easy to get employees to change their commuting behavior. Yahoo used surveys, education, an intranet website to help people find others for ridesharing, and YahooGroups to encourage collaboration, and monthly reward competition for those who avoid driving solo.

Yahoo encourages the use of the zero-emission vehicle owned by one billion people on this planet – the bicycle. Yahoo provides bicycler riders with secure storage of their bikes. Free lockers and showers are available. To help people quickly navigate Yahoo’s campus of buildings, loaner bikes are also available.

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Comments:
I'm a bike to work Yahoo! They give us such great support for riding to work. If you love cycling this is the place to work. They have free bike lockers and showers with towel service in most buildings. If you participate in their commuter program you can earn movie tickets, free meals and massages. It's a pretty amazing company to work for.
 
That is awesome, plain and simple. Sounds like something Google would do... have you ever seen a tour of Yahoo/Google headquarters. You wouldn't even believe it's an office.
 
As a faithful Caltrain riding Yahoo, I thank you for the plug! Don't forget our campus showers, to wash off the biking dreck. And nice photo!

If you want a virtual tour of our campus, head on over to our corporate blog (the video's on the bottom of this page: http://yodel.yahoo.com/about/).

Nicki Dugan
Editor, Yodel Anecdotal
 
Yahoo is a very bike friendly employer, and actively encourages its employees to find alternatives to driving to work solo. We even have super friendly bike advocates on staff to help newbie bike commuters map out and plan their trips.

I usually bike+Caltrain to work from San Francisco, and Yahoo allows me to have flexible work hours, and also provides a nice hot shower with towel service when I get into the office. Even though I have my own secure bike locker on campus, I usually just park my bike at my desk, and wheeling my bike up the elevator and through the office is perfectly acceptable.

We have incentives where cyclists can earn free meals and movie tickets just by cycling to work.

On the days when I might not feel like cycling, I can hop on one of the free employee shuttles that run to and from San Francisco and my office in Sunnyvale. The shuttles are even equipped with WiFi and run on biodiesel.
 
"36% of Yahoo headquarters employees get to work without driving solo"

Wow, that is amazing! Nice job Yahoo.

I still get the occasional funny look for riding a bike to work, but interest in commuting is on the rise everywhere these days.
 
Awesomeness, I am busy building a velomobile to cycle around South Africa. I also want to promote Human Power as a valid commuting method
 
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