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Pacific Blue Cross innovative charity campaign

New mobile app Biko, which turns kilometres biked into rewards earned from local businesses, is launching a month-long competition giving cyclists the opportunity to donate their bikos to charities participating in the campaign.

By downloading the free Biko cycling app on their smartphones, users earn a digital coin called a “biko” for every kilometre they pedal. They can redeem bikos for rewards at local businesses and retailers or donate them to local charities. British Columbia health benefits provider Pacific Blue Cross is giving the equivalent of $25,000 in bikos to the campaign, to be shared among six participating local charities. The more bikos a charity receives, the higher its share of the $25,000. The six participating charities include imagine1day, HUB, Paws for Hope, Beauty Night, Children’s Wish Foundation, United Way of the Lower Mainland and Zajac Ranch.

“Based on our data, we know Biko users are very giving and believe in supporting various causes through their bikos,” says Enrique Cuellar, Biko CEO and co-founder. “Although Biko users can turn kilometres biked into rewards earned from local businesses, we believe many will choose to donate their bikos to a local charity in need.”

“We’re pleased to support the Biko app and this initiative as part of our mission to improve health and well-being in British Columbia,” says Jan K. Grude, President and CEO of Pacific Blue Cross. “Biko fits well with our organization’s mission by investing in the wellbeing of local communities and rewarding physical activity. Biko users can cycle towards offers on our individual health and travel plans.”

Biko has witnessed the overwhelming generosity of users with past charity collaborations in cities like Bogota, Medellin and Mexico City. Almost 75,000 users have earned close to 9 million bikos, with more than 30% choosing to cash in those bikos for charitable donations over receiving free goods or services. Biko’s cycling incentives are wide-reaching, positively impacting social, health and environmental initiatives. Biko users pedal their way to better fitness while improving air quality, so far eliminating 1,008 tonnes of carbon emissions. Biko now wants to help Vancouver give back by helping this city become the greenest city by 2020.

Other features on the app include mapping routes, measuring average speed, calculating carbon emissions saved, and recommending safe bike paths and local bike shops. This also allows Biko to offer valuable data on urban biking behaviour to city planners looking to increase bike lanes and facilitate safe cycling.

Started by entrepreneurs Tomas Bleier, Enrique Cuellar and Emilio Pombo in their native city of Bogota, Colombia, Biko saw immediate success and now has a network of over 100 companies offering special deals for users in Latin America—from restaurants to gyms, pharmacies, book shops, movie theatres, supermarkets and more.

In Vancouver, Biko is expanding its network of reward partners every week. Already, users can redeem their bikos at Red Truck; Two Wheel Gear; Bike Doctor; Reckless Bike Stores; Big Rock Brewery; Zend Conscious Lounge; Rocanini Coffee Roasters; Steel Toad Brewery; The Burrard; the Vancouver Art Gallery; Yaletown Brewery; Off the Tracks Espresso Bar & Cafe; Granville Island Brewery; The Juice Truck; and Modo.

To learn more, please visit www.pac.bluecross.ca/biko

About Biko
Biko is building greener, smarter and happier cities by rewarding urban cyclists with positive experiences. Biko aims to improve the quality of life in cities by finding technology based solutions to environmental, health, transportation and mobility challenges. To learn more, visit biko.com.co/en

Facebook: facebook.com/Bikoapp
Twitter and Instagram: @BikoApp

Blue Shield

Blue Shield is a registered trade-mark of Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
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