Firm giving free bikes to 1,000 staff in $250k initiative

MCC Singapore managing director Tan Zhiyong (far left, standing) with other senior and management staff who took part in a 4km trial ride in Woodlands on June 3. The company will be marking its new initiative with a mass cycling activity ending at Se
MCC Singapore managing director Tan Zhiyong (far left, standing) with other senior and management staff who took part in a 4km trial ride in Woodlands on June 3. The company will be marking its new initiative with a mass cycling activity ending at Sembawang Park on Saturday, the day of the giveaway.PHOTO: MCC LAND

MCC Singapore says employees' feedback played a part in move; staff will get safety gear and accessories as well

From Saturday, cycling to work will get easier for the roughly 1,000 full-time employees of building services firm MCC Singapore, whose units include developer MCC Land.

Their workplace is handing out one free bicycle to each staff member, at a cost of about $250,000, as part of a bicycle-friendly corporate initiative. The staff will also get safety gear and accessories, such as helmets and reflective shirts.

Employees' feedback played a large role in the decision, said managing director Tan Zhiyong. He added that the initiative is in line with the Government's push for responsible bicycle use and a car-lite society.

MCC Singapore's head office in Bukit Batok Crescent is slightly more than 1km away from Ulu Pandan Park Connector, a cycling route.

The group is also marking its new cycling initiative with a mass cycling activity ending at Sembawang Park on Saturday, the day of the giveaway, after a 4km trial earlier this month that involved 50 senior and management staff members.

Mr Tan said in an e-mail to The Straits Times: "There are already in place many national policies and provisions to make cycling a way of life in Singapore and we feel cycling seems like the way to go.

"As the bicycle is meant to be a token of appreciation for our employees, they are free to use it in any way they deem appropriate."

For instance, they will be encouraged to share their bicycles with family and friends.

In May last year, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said it would consider giving property developers incentives to make bicycle facilities - such as parking spaces and lockers - available in their projects. Since July last year, developers have had to put up Walking and Cycling Plans when submitting new applications for projects such as retail and commercial developments, which would include provisions for such facilities.

Mr Tan said MCC Land is incorporating such considerations into its own projects. For example, The Alps Residences condominium has bicycle parking spaces and a dedicated area with a tyre pump and washing bay. The developer is also mulling over leasing one or both of The Alps' two 680 sq ft shop lots to a bicycle-themed cafe.

Other developers that have hopped on the bike bandwagon include CapitaLand, which will feature a 2.4m-wide bicycle lane in its upcoming Funan development.

"Thoughtful design details, such as coloured safety stripes, differentiated finishes and clear signs, will serve to enhance the safety of both cyclists and the public visiting Funan," a CapitaLand spokesman told The Straits Times.

Mr Tan said: "In this age of rapid globalisation, which brings about an evolving work culture, employers are challenged to motivate employees beyond sheer remuneration."

Other bicycle-related activities being planned include lunchtime bicycle rides allowing co-workers to eat out together.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2017, with the headline 'Firm giving free bikes to 1,000 staff in $250k initiative'. Print Edition | Subscribe