66 businesses certified by League of American Bicyclists
Tampa, Florida now ranks number one in the nation for number of Bicycle Friendly Businesses following the January 2021 awards by the League of American Bicyclists, the leading organization for bicycling advocates since 1880.
There are 66 certified Bicycle Friendly Businesses (BFB) in Tampa following the awarding of nine new businesses in 2021. Six businesses renewed and improved their level of certification.
"In Tampa, we are so proud of our business community for embracing bike-friendliness," says Tampa Mayor and cyclist, Jane Castor. "We are committed to the Vision Zero mission of achieving safe, healthy and equitable mobility for all--and we need everyone on board to achieve our goal. There's nothing better than being able to bike to your favorite local coffee shop for some cafe con leche or a Cuban sandwich! But biking isn't just a fun way to explore our beautiful city, it's also an important mobility option that allows folks to commute to where they work, live and play. As we continue Transforming Tampa's Tomorrow, we look forward to working with our business community to continue supporting bike-friendliness and retain our titles as the #1 City for Bike Friendly Businesses."
The BFB program requires businesses to support and promote cycling to their customers, employees, and the community by providing bike parking, safety education, and promotions for retail customers who arrive by bike. The program was started locally by the Platinum-certified BFB, Tampa Downtown Partnership. “It was intended to support and encourage bicycling as a mode of transportation into and around the urban core,” said Karen Kress, Director of Transportation and Planning, Tampa Downtown Partnership.
The BFB program complements the collaborative effort between the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County, and the Florida Department of Transportation to expand safe, active transport facilities across Tampa for walking, biking, and scooting.
“The main reason we support the Bicycle Friendly Business program is the strong emphasis on safety,” said Florida Department of Transportation District 7 Secretary David Gwynn. “It’s important we all share the road and understand the techniques and laws in place to protect all users.”
Businesses from North Tampa, South Tampa, Downtown Tampa, Westshore and Ybor City have earned certification. There are small businesses of less than 10 employees and major employers like Tampa International Airport and new awardee Hillsborough County Public Schools. Bicyclists can start their day at one of seven Bicycle Friendly coffee shops, bike to work, and end it at one of 14 breweries and restaurants.
“As the first designated bike-friendly airport in the United States, we’re big believers in alternative modes of transportation and providing the necessary facilities to support them for our employees and guests,” said Airport CEO Joe Lopano. “We recently upgraded our bike parking and will soon offer secure indoor bike storage for our employees as well as a new one-mile trail that will eventually connect to the regional trail network.”
Tampa General Hospital is a Silver BFB. "We have nearly 1,000 team members - from MDs to students, nurses to contractors - signed up for our award-winning bike commuter program. Over the past year we had 8,800 badge swipes to gain access to the secure bike cages. Our employees are on the front lines of the pandemic, which is very stressful. We’ve supported biking to work since we first became a BFB 5 years ago, but it’s even more important now so they can have a healthy and stress-reducing commute,” Said Stephanie Jackson, TGH Manager of Parking, Transportation and Valet Services.
Christine Acosta of Pedal Power Promoters helped many of the businesses attain the BFB designation. “Data tells the story,” she says. “Observing and measuring the growing demand for equitable, affordable, and healthy transportation within a workforce is an important part of the League’s BFB application. It’s exciting to see so many businesses recognize biking as a viable modal option and encouraging employees to use the city’s expanding network of safe facilities. TGH is a perfect example.”
“We are excited that all of our Tampa locations are now recognized as bike-friendly. We knew we wanted to support our biking community… customers and employees,” said Susan Ward, Co-Founder of Buddy Brew Coffee. “For a small business, being a Bicycle Friendly Business and working with our local partners who support the program is another great way we can live out our “Brew Good Do Good” mission.”
Bicycle Friendly Business awards are one facet of the League’s Bicycle Friendly America program, which also awards universities and communities. Bicycle Friendly America empowers local advocates and leaders with the tools and resources to build places that are more welcoming to people who bike. The nearly 1,400 total Bicycle Friendly Businesses nationwide include everything from government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, airports, schools, restaurants, and other employers, all united in a commitment to transform American workplaces to be more welcoming to both customers and employees who bike. The City of St. Petersburg is ranked #3 in the country.
As part of the Bicycle Friendly America network, businesses, communities, and universities have access to a variety of tools and technical assistance from the League to become even more welcoming to people who bike.