Zenride Vélo entreprise salarié confinancement

the corporate social advantage for access to a bicycle

Antoine Repussard and Thomas Beaurain, the historic co-founders of Zenride, started from their personal experience to create their project. Before 2018, they had to travel a lot across Ile-de-France as part of their work. However, they are not entitled to a company vehicle. They then turn to their employer to ask for help and access a cycling solution, but nothing exists. The idea then emerges. Olivier Issaly then joins them in the adventure. Having grown up in a rural area, cycle mobility has always been a daily reflex. It immediately seemed obvious to him to work to promote a solution to make cycling accessible, particularly financially, to as many people as possible.

Because the financial aspect represents one of the most important obstacles to access to cycling. “We must keep in mind that the average price of an electrically assisted bicycle is around more than 2,000 euros. It is slightly higher than the French median salary,” explains Olivier Issaly, now president of Zenride. “By making it accessible through long-term rental, which is co-financed by the employer, we remove this important blockage.”

A strong purchasing power issue

Today, it is the primary motivation that puts people on a bike to go to work. “Depending on the periods, we saw different motivations emerge,” explains Olivier Issaly. Before Covid-19, there was already a very important environmental dimension, which was reinforced after confinement. With the health issue, people preferred to be in the open air rather than confined in public transport. And then, from 2022, we felt a fairly significant purchasing power issue, the very clear desire to save money on filling up with gasoline at the end of the month.” And even if you are motivated by a purchasing power issue, the environmental impact is concrete, real, so the different motivations complement each other completely.

The second obstacle to Vélotaf – the practice of using a bicycle for commuting – is that of safety. It is on this aspect that Zenride aims to support employees through road safety training. E-learning on road safety is made compulsory at the time of ordering. Because if it’s one thing to know how to ride a bike during weekend or vacation rides, it’s another to navigate car traffic, whatever the weather. It is always useful to keep the basic safety principles in mind before embarking on cycling.

Create cyclist

The constant and recent evolution and improvement of cycling infrastructure across France has the advantage of boosting the practice. A virtuous circle which only encourages more and more employees to switch to cycling. “In Paris, for example, a real cycling revolution is taking place. It is truly the emblematic city in the transformation towards cycling. There are a lot of cycle paths available, and more under construction, so it takes a lot of cyclists. It’s often faster to travel by bike than by public transport, and even more so than by car obviously, so there is a real revolution in this area. But what we also see is that there is a sort of silent revolution in the territories”.

Last year, Zenride delivered nearly 80% of its bikes outside the ten largest cities in France, often in medium-sized towns with a few tens of thousands of inhabitants. In areas where there is a dependence on the car, we note that the public transport network is not sufficient. However, employees do not live that far from their workplace, some 5 to 10 km. And since France is fortunate to be well equipped with networks of secondary roads with very little traffic, this allows you to take advantage of interesting cycling routes. There is therefore a particularly instructive and encouraging change in areas where we did not initially expect a surge in cycling.

“We often say that we create cyclists because we support people. We put them, we put them back on a bike, and that will also encourage the development of more and more infrastructure. And the more infrastructure we develop, the more it attracts new cyclists, so both are virtuous. We are really working on the “uses” side, to equip employees with a bicycle to take more and more people on the slopes,” rejoices the president of Zenride.

If the choice is left to employees as to the type of bicycle, Olivier Issaly notes that around 80% of employees choose electrically assisted bicycles. The rest opt ​​for so-called classic or mechanical bicycles, which cost less, and are therefore even more financially accessible, and all the more virtuous from an environmental point of view as they only require energy. muscles. And it’s even better for your health because you get more physical activity. With these mechanical bikes, employees will come and look for specific features, for example folding bikes, which will be of great help in the case of intermodality, with a TER for example. We will also find Gravel bikes, all-purpose bikes, as effective for going to work, shopping, as for weekend hikes, or even cycle touring holidays. These are very versatile bikes for which strong demand has been observed for two years now.

“With Zenride, you have chosen a personal, dedicated bike. This is why we really leave the choice in more than 600 partner stores, because I think that to convert people to bicycles, for it to become a daily reflex, what is important is that it or a bike that looks like them.” Indeed, we do not all have the same body types or the same uses. Some need to drop off a child by bike at school before starting their work day, others need to go hiking on the weekend. We don’t all take the same routes, through the city center or along side roads. This is why offering the widest possible choice will convince people to take the plunge.

More productive and involved employees

To try it is to adopt it ! The benefits are quickly felt, both for the employer and the employee. From a physical well-being point of view to start. Many studies agree that light daily physical activity provides many health benefits. Consequence: a reduction in sick leave in particular, therefore more productive, fresher, more awake employees in the morning. You can easily practice physical activity twice a day without even realizing it.

Companies, for their part, are often motivated by making their brand shine. Their commitment will facilitate recruitment, with a useful and distinctive advantage. Half of employees express that their car journey between home and work is not pleasant, or not at all satisfactory, which can be a cause of leaving the company. Offering co-financing for the acquisition of a bicycle therefore also helps to build employee loyalty, with a lighter commute to work, when the distances are compatible. This also helps make them more relaxed and involved.

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