WARREN (WWJ) - As General Motors works to put its customers on four wheels, the company is putting its workers on two wheels.
"It may be counterintuitive to think about an auto company supporting bike sharing, but it's really not," says David Tulaskas, GM's Director of Sustainability.
General Motors hopes the bike sharing cuts down on traffic at the 330 acre technical center, allowing workers an easier, healthier way to move between the complex's 61 buildings.
"This is just going to give us a little more personal freedom around campus," said GM engineering supervisor John Waechter, who was among the first to sign up.
"I think it's awesome," he said. "Our campus is so spread out here. We're often going from the design studio to the build site that are all on campus here."
General Motors is doing the program in conjunction with ride sharing service Zagster. Employees can use a smart phone app to borrow the bikes, which have baskets for carrying items as large as a laptop.
Zagster CEO and co-founder Timothy Erickson says the program is strictly voluntary. Workers can still use their own personal cars, or wait for a shuttle bus. But, Erickson thinks many people will find the bikes more convenient.
"In this kind of environment, a bike is the quickest way to get to and from your meetings."
While some GM workers may choose to only use the bicycles during nice weather, Erickson says the program will operate all year-long.
"In Detroit, with DTE Energy and Quicken Loans, we actually had a whole Winter Warriors' program, where we had about a hundred employees ride through entire winter, pretty much every day, rain or sunshine."
General Motors is competing with other auto companies and companies in other fields--like tech--for young auto talent. GM's David Tulaskas says this new bike sharing program will help them in that competition.
"It's something that new, potential hires look for in companies that are doing things different, new and innovative."
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