Subsidizing spokes: Amazon to reimburse bicycling office employees

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First, Amazon embraced the banana stand. Now it’s embracing the banana seat.

The tech company, which famously offered a free banana stand at its Seattle headquarters, is adding a new commuter benefit for its employees to encourage bicycling to work.

The company announced a new program Thursday to reimburse office employees up to $400 a month for the costs of using a bicycle to commute to work.

The benefit can reimburse the cost of using a bike-sharing program, parking and even maintenance to cover two tune-ups a year, the company said.

In a blog post the company said it hopes the new benefit will help the company honor its commitment to supporting environmental sustainability in the communities where it has a large presence.

Amazon has corporate centers in Seattle, Bellevue, Washington; Arlington, Virginia and Nashville, Tennessee. In Seattle, the company said more than 20% of employees walk or bike to work.

It also said most of its corporate offices have showers available for bikers to use to get ready for work.

The monthly benefit varies from city to city. In Arlington, where the company is rapidly building a second headquarters that will employ 25,000 workers, the maximum benefit is $350 a month.

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