Chatham News

Chatham University receives national Bicycle-Friendly Business designation

By: Amanda Kennedy, Senior Public Relations Specialist 
March 10, 2011

PITTSBURGH (March 10, 2011) … Chatham University was one of 55 organizations to receive the Bicycle-Friendly Business designation at yesterday’s National Bike Summit in Washington, DC., presented by the League of American Bicyclists. Chatham captured a Bronze Award in the 2011 Spring Bicycle Friendly Business Category for its participation in the federal government’s bicycle commuter benefit program – the first organization in Pennsylvania to do so – and for opening a bicycle repair program on its Shadyside Campus.

The Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) program recognizes employers’ efforts to encourage a more bicycle friendly atmosphere for employees and customers, and honors innovative bike-friendly efforts and provides technical assistance and information to help companies and organizations become even better for bicyclists. This new initiative complements the League’s Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) program, which has been recognizing cities and towns for their bicycle friendliness since 2003, and for which the City of Pittsburgh was recognized in 2010 with a Bronze Award.

“Sustainable practices are an integral part of Chatham’s mission and operations, and so we are honored to be recognized for our efforts to promote distinctive bicycling initiatives on campus,” said Walt Fowler, vice president for finance and administration. “I especially want to thank Mary Whitney, our sustainability coordinator, and Michael Boyd, assistant professor of music, for championing these programs and helping to reduce our carbon footprint. We hope to implement more bicycle-friendly initiatives in the near future.”

The bicycle commuter benefit was included as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and added to Chatham’s Fit for the Future® program, which promotes health and wellness initiatives throughout the University community. Established in 2004, Fit for the Future has actually helped the University better manage its employees’ healthcare premiums with its provider, UPMC Health Care. Employees who sign up for this benefit are not permitted to have a campus parking permit as they are required to certify that cycling is their primary mode of transportation to and from work during the time frame in which they receive the reimbursement. The maximum reimbursement is $20 per month or $240 over a calendar year.

The University also encourages the use of the bicycle tax credit by subsidizing free public transportation on all Port Authority buses and light-rail vehicles, many of which now utilize bicycle racks.

The Bicycle Friendly Business and Bicycle Friendly University programs are generously supported by program partners Bikes Belong and Trek Bicycle’s One World, Two Wheels Campaign. The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America’s 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. For more information or to support the League, visit www.bikeleague.org.

About Chatham University
Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information call 800-837-1290 or visit www.chatham.edu.