New Zealand council promotes cafe loyalty scheme to encourage cycling

Initiative aimed at decreasing petrol consumption by encouraging people to switch to caffeine instead

by Simon_MacMichael   August 1, 2011  

Espresso machine.jpg

A district council in New Zealand is encouraging people to switch from cars to bicycles for their daily transport needs by introducing an ‘alternative fuel card’ that rewards them for topping up with caffeine instead of petrol.

The iCafe card has been introduced by Hastings District Council under its iWay initiative to promote cycling and walking in the North Island city which, together with neighbouring Napier, is home to some 125,000 people.

Five local cafes are participating in the project, under which cyclists receive their fifth coffee free, reports the website

Owen Mata, iWay coordinator, commented: “We know that lots of casual cyclists are also keen coffee drinkers, and we’re seeing an increasing number of cyclists at cafes, especially on sunny days. So we thought we’d help them refuel during the trip with a loyalty card. We hope it will also encourage them to leave the car at home more often.”

He continued: “Cycling is a great way to work off that extra piece of cake you had with your coffee, so you don’t need to feel guilty either” Mr Mata added.

We’re big fans here at of post- (or even mid-) ride coffee stops, and it would be good to see councils in the UK follow the example of their colleagues in New Zealand – and if the loyalty scheme could be extended to include that piece of cake, too, we certainly wouldn’t complain.

3 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

A great idea. How long before the NZ equivalent of the HMRC ruins it?

posted by handlebarcam [545 posts]
1st August 2011 - 13:37

1 Like

Great idea! I like the add-on sale of guilt free cake.

posted by Celeste08 [38 posts]
2nd August 2011 - 16:17


Such a great idea - and it's great the reward comes quickly too. I wish it success.

London based cyclist.

posted by richmond [16 posts]
2nd August 2011 - 17:12

1 Like