Bronze Medal Award Winner for being a Bicycle Friendly Business
The Charlotte County Health Department is the first health department in the U.S. to receive a bronze medal award for being a Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB). The award was given by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) in September 2010. The league is a 25,000-member organization that rewards communities, college campuses and businesses for becoming bicycle friendly and encouraging cycling as an alternative form of transportation. See our Press Release.
Benefits of Bicycle Commuting
Studies have shown that people commuting by bicycle lose an average of thirteen pound in excess weight in the first year. Bicycle commuting employees become fitter and take a reduced number of sick days per year than non bicycle commuters. People bicycle commuting just two days a week can reduce their personal emissions of green house gasses by as much as 1,600 pounds a year and make a significant contribution to healthier air quality.
What We Offer Our Staff
In order to prepare for applying for recognition from the League of American Bicyclists several health department staff that regularly ride bicycles and bicycle commute to work wrote a manual to help staff start bicycle commuting. We also partnered with the Florida Department of Transportation to bring bicycle helmet safety training to our staff and developed a program to obtain free bicycle helmets for staff and pediatric patients. Our staff are also able to get free bicycle lights and a bicycle bell through this collaboration with FDOT. The administration saw that showers were included in the new Port Charlotte clinic for staff to use and bicycle lockers and bicycle racks were installed for both staff and clients.
Healthier Employees, Reduced Sick Days, Money Saved & a Healthier Environment
With more and more bicycle paths added to Charlotte County and the City of Punta Gorda each year now is an excellent time for employers to develop bicycle commuter programs and incentives for their employees. It’s a win-win situation; healthier employees means reduced time off work sick, employees save money on gasoline, and bicycle commuting reduces carbon emissions leading to cleaner air and a healthier environment.
All of the benefits of partnering with FDOT and Commuter Services are available to businesses in Charlotte County and can be accessed through the links on this page. If your business or community is interested in applying for Bicycle Friendly status go to the League of American Bicyclists website for application details.