Would you ride your bike more often if you were rewarded to do so?
That’s the idea behind a new app, Biko, that incentivizes cyclists through rewards from local businesses and organizations or donations to their favourite charities.
Since launching last Spring in Bogota, Medellin and Mexico City, they have reached 74,088 users.
Now, Biko co-founder Emilio Pombo says he wants to bring the app to Vancouver to further the city’s goal of becoming the greenest city by 2020.
“Incentivizing cycling through rewards can help reduce the city’s carbon emissions and we have the data to prove it. By choosing to ride their bicycles, our users have collectively reduced carbon emissions by 1,008 tonnes.”
How does it work?
By downloading the free app, users can earn a digital coin called “biko” for every kilometre they pedal. Bikos can then be exchanged for goods and services from participating businesses or donated as cash to the user’s charity of choice.
Other features on the app include mapping routes, measuring average speed, calculating carbon emissions saved, and recommending safe bike paths and local bike shops.
The City of Vancouver set specific transportation goals to lower emissions as part of its Greenest City Action Plan, and working together with Biko may bring that target closer.
Here are the city’s statistics on increased bike use as of 2014, still just shy of its “majority” transit, foot and bike traffic goal.
Rewards: a quick breakdown
Big Rock Brewery
- Reward 1: Enjoy any snack – Biko amount: 20
- Reward 2: A free tour of the brewery, sample the beer and keep the tasting glass – Biko amount: 60
- Reward 3: $25 gift card to use in restaurant or brewery – Biko amount: 100
Two Wheel Gear
- Reward 1 (available now until end of September): Win a signature dry waxed canvas & leather Heath Messenger Bag by collecting the highest amount of Bikos.
- Reward 2: Get $25 off on the Pannier Backpack Convertible – Biko amount: 60
- Reward 3: Get $40 off on the Classic Garment Pannier – Biko amount: 100
- Reward 1: Save 35% on a set of front and rear Planet Bike or Lezyne lights – Biko amount: 65
- Reward 2: Save 35% on a Kryptonite U-Lock – Biko amount: 55
- Reward 3: Free repairs: brake repairs and adjustments, including install of a cable or brake pads; gear repairs and adjustments including the install of a cable; tube and tire replacement – Biko amount: 10
Reckless Bike Stores
- Reward 1: Get 15% off on an accessory – Biko amount: 30
- Reward 2: Get an upgrade to a Standard tuneup with a purchase of a Safety Check tuneup – Biko amount: 45
- Reward 3: Rent for 2 hours and enjoy the 3rd hour for free – Biko amount: 10
Zend Conscious Lounge
- Reward 1: Get 50% off 2nd order of pancakes – Biko amount: 25
- Reward 2: Get 50% off 2nd shareable menu item – Biko amount: 25
- Reward 3: Get a free Zend Signature Elixir with a meal purchase – Biko amount: 25
- Reward 1: Buy a cortado, get the 2nd one free – Biko amount: 30
- Reward 1: Book a room and enjoy free breakfast on us – Biko amount: 60
Vancouver Art Gallery
- Reward 1: Skip the line and get fast track access to Vancouver Art Gallery on Tuesday Night By Donation. Head to the front of the line and present Biko’s digital coupon – Biko amount: 20