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This Company in New Zealand Is Paying Employees to Bike to Work

Employees at an advertising agency in New Zealand just got a raise, thanks to a scheme aimed at lowering carbon emissions. 

Last week, the company, Make Collective, launched an initiative to pay workers $5 a day to bike to work, and $10 a day if they bike to work for more than half a year, Stuff reports

Biking to work has been proven to reduce carbon emissions and improve health outcomes, but just 2.9% of New Zealanders bike to work, according to the most recent census

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Make Collective, which is located in the city of Christchurch, hopes that providing commuters with financial incentives — moreso than the environmental or health-related ones — may make biking to work a more attractive option. 

“For a while I had been thinking it would be great to incentivise cycling in some way,” Tim Chesney, an employee at Make Collective said. “I’m a really keen cyclist [and] cash is clearly the most obvious incentive.” 

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Bike commuters will be rewarded for their efforts in bonuses paid out at the end of the year, Stuff reports. Assuming regular working days, this could add up to over $2,000 per year. 

Read More: This Company Will Give You an Electric Bike if You Trade in Your Car

The Guardian reports that Christchurch has more bicyclists than any other city in New Zealand

But for these bicyclists, safety is not assured. According to a report from road safety report from the Canterbury Regional Transport Committee, crashes involving cyclists are twice as high in Christchurch than in any other New Zealand city

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Other cities around the world have addressed these issues through the construction of bike infrastructure and car-free city centers. That includes cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, which are consistently named the most bike-friendly in the world.  

Employees at Make Collective say that things are beginning to improve for bikers in Christchurch. 

Read More: Oslo Is Subsidizing Electric Bikes for All of Its Residents, Because Of Course

“Christchurch is slowly developing its cycle infrastructure,” Chesney said. “It's starting to get better and safer to bike, especially with the cycleways off the road, that's really key.” 

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Make Collective’s scheme will help workers pocket a bit more cash, and Chesney said that it also aligns with the brand’s mission. 

"We work a lot with socially-minded clients and want our work to make the world better, so this is just us playing our part,” Chesney said.