If you show up on a bike at one of a string of businesses in São Paulo, Brazil, you'll get a reward for leaving your car behind. A bar, two restaurants, a creperie, and a cake shop all offer treats for cyclists, ranging from fresh juice or mate to a free salad.
Though biking is becoming more popular in São Paulo, it still isn't common; the city of 11 million got its first bike lane only a few years ago, and for many, biking is still seen as a form of recreation rather than transportation. The small steps these local businesses are taking might help nudge more people to ride. Each business also has bike racks outside. The racks actually came first, and the businesses soon realized there would be advantages to giving cyclists an incentive to come inside.
For other cities, could this type of program help alleviate (car) parking woes? Cafes and other local businesses might end up with more customers if they're arriving on two wheels instead of circling the block in a car. And every bike-riding customer is also a win for the environment. As cycling infrastructure in cities struggles to catch up with the need for alternative transportation, is there a need for more creative incentives like these?
This post is part of the GOOD community's 50 Building Blocks of Citizenship—weekly steps to being an active, engaged global citizen. This week: Take An Alternate Route. Follow along and join the conversation at good.is/citizenship and on Twitter at #goodcitizen.
Image courtesy of Le Repas