Pedaling Made Easy in Pleasanton
Kaiser Permanente’s Pleasanton Technology Campus offers employees a bikeshare program for exercise, convenience, and fun. Pictured above, bikeshare user Tony Bibb.
By Dolores Radding
As the material service coordinator for Kaiser Permanente’s Pleasanton Technology Campus, Tony Bibb gets his share of exercise walking to and from the 17.8 acre campus’ seven buildings. But every Friday Bibb makes a point to spend his lunch hour getting three or four miles in — off campus — that are just for him.
Bibb reserves and rides one of the 24 bikes that are available to Kaiser Permanente Pleasanton technology employees and contractors through a bikeshare program. The program is managed by the campus’ fitness center, and the bikes are available right outside the center. But Bibb doesn’t have to be a fitness center member to take a bike out for a ride, and it doesn’t cost him a penny.
He described his lunchtime rides as enjoyable and invigorating.
“I don’t ride too hard, but I keep a good pace,” he explained. “After the ride, I’m relaxed — big time. The riding relieves a lot of stress.”
Have Bike, Will Travel
A team from Kaiser Permanente IT Facilities Management worked with the company Bikes Make Life Better to roll out the program for the just over 4,000 employees on the Pleasanton Technology Campus in August 2014. The bikeshare program is an especially good fit for the campus because the East Bay Regional Park District’s multi-use, 32-mile Iron Horse Trail runs through the grounds.
The bikeshare offers employees sturdy, beach-cruiser-style bikes that sport a colorful IThrive logo. Each of the 24 bikes is the same size and is equipped with an adjustable seat, lock, basket, and helmet.
Once an employee completes a liability waiver, he or she can reserve a bike online every working day for up to two hours. Fitness Center Program Manager Jami Sanders said the center usually takes about 200 bike reservations a month, with most reservations scheduled around lunchtime.
Besides riding on the Iron Horse Trail, employees also take the bikes out on city streets to ride home for lunch or to run errands at the post office or grocery store.
Sanders said some employees use the bikes to go out as a group for a meal or team-building events.
“They usually want their picture taken, and they have a really good time.”
Good for Productivity, Health, and the Environment
IT Facilities Management Operations Specialist Lisa Putt said there are many compelling reasons to create a bikeshare for employees.
“We believe the bikeshare increases productivity, reduces health care costs, and improves morale,” she said. “The program contributes to a best place to work environment.”
She added that it also contributes to a healthier environment because it makes it easier for people to take public transportation to work.
“Our employees know they can easily use a bike if they need to go off campus. It’s so convenient because the bike is always ready for you.”
And then there’s the fun factor.
Technical writer Shavon Walker recently started using the bikeshare. She said she enjoys how you can see so much when you’re on a bike.
“It’s a great way to get out and see the area around me,” she said. “It’s so much fun!”