1.Why do employers in some European countries give cycling commuters rewards?
2.What do you think of the scheme for rewarding staff who go to work by bicycle?
Getting paid for going to work may sound too good to be true, but it’s part of an increasingly popular scheme for commuters across Europe. Employers in Belgium(比利时), Holland and other European countries are rewarding staff if they come to work on a bicycle, and paying them for every kilometre they cycle. All are in an effort to promote environmental protection and a healthier lifestyle.
In Belgium, cycling commuters are being paid 20 euro2 cents per kilometre, those in Holland can earn 15 euro cents, and participants in Britain can earn up to 22 euro cents per kilometre. All of the rewards are tax-free. In Belgium, a popular cycling nation, the figures of finance ministry show that more than 270,000 people took part in the scheme last year, which means that the Belgian employers paid out 62 million dollars to those who bill for cycling to work.
"Higher oil prices and environmental aware-ness contribute to having more cyclists on the road," said one dieter Snauwaert of Belgium.
One of the most successful proponents3 is Belgium’s discount supermarket Colruyt, which started the scheme four years ago and now has 2,100 participants in the company. Colruyt provides employees who live up to seven kilometres away from company with a bicycle and takes care of its maintenance4. Company spokesman Victor De Meester said, "Apart from the advantage that employees can be healthier, there are also other advantages, such as environmental protection. The more people cycle to work, the fewer parking spaces you have to offer. It’s not so easy, especially in urban areas, to expand parking spaces."
1. commuter n.(远距离) 上下班往返的人
2. euro n.欧元(自2002年起欧盟十二国的货币单位)
3. proponent n.倡导者；支持者
4. maintenance n.维护；保养