CFE FCU denies cyclists to utilize drive-thru services

Today I was denied access to make a deposit at the Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union drive-thru because I was on a bicycle. I expect better from a local, member-owned cooperative.

If you are a member of CFE and you want to see this policy changed, send me an email at michael .dot. sa _at_ gmail *dot* com. Hopefully we, as members, can change this policy so that CFE supports bicycles as a mode of transportation.

Here is the formal letter I am sending to CFE (or see the PDF of this letter):


I am writing today to bring to light my dissatisfaction with CFE's drive-thru policy, which denies cyclists from utilizing drive-thru services.

On Saturday, December 31st, I rode my bicycle to CFE's drive-thru (the CFE lobby is closed on Saturdays; only the drive-thru is open). When I submitted my request to make a deposit, I was apologetically refused service on the grounds that I was not on a motorized vehicle and that I was therefore violating a stipulation in the CFE insurance policy.

I expect better from a local, member-owned cooperative.

Bicycles are a realistic and extraordinarily efficient mode of transportation. In fact, the human being on a bicycle is the most efficient self-powered means of transportation--more efficient than a condor in flight.[1] With a loss of less than 2% of energy[2], bicycles are far more efficient than automobiles (which lose ~80% of energy[3]). Bicycle travel emits no greenhouse gasses, eliminates our dependence on oil, is cheap, and provides a healthy exercise. As an avid cyclist who rode ~8,000 miles in the past 2 years, I can certainly attest first-hand to the incredible innovation of this non-motorized machine.

The logic behind the insurance restricting drive-thru access to motorized vehicles is faulty. I have utilized the CFE drive-thru numerous times on my motorcycle without issue. A motorcycle rider is no less vulnerable to injury than a bicycle rider. Moreover, In the eyes of FL traffic law: bicycles, motorcycles, and automobiles are all vehicles with essentially the same rights & responsibilities on public roads. Why should there be a difference in a drive-thru?

As a member of LGE Community CU, I am a member of the CU Service Center Network; I am not a member of CFE FCU. However, as a member of the Orlando community, I am writing this letter to the CFE Board of Directors and CFE members suggesting that they introduce 2 proposals:

1. I propose that CFE changes their insurance policy (or if need be, their insurance provider) to one that allows non-motorized vehicles to utilize drive-thru services.

2. I propose that CFE shows their support for bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation by pledging to donate $1 to a local, non-profit bicycle cooperative for every member who rides a non-motorized vehicle to CFE and makes a transaction. Examples of local bicycle organizations include: Orlando Road Club and UCF Spokescouncil.


Michael Altfield

[1] "Bicycle Technology", S.S. Wilson, Scientific American, March 1973

December 31, 2011 · Michael · 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: bicycle, car, cooporatives, motorcycle, nonprofits, organizations, transportation

2 Responses

  1. CFE Federal Credit Union - February 27, 2012

    Dear Michael Altfield:

    Thank you for contacting us regarding your concerns as we take any and all grievances very seriously. We reviewed your correspondence as well as the reasons behind the applicable policy.

    To best protect the membership as a whole as well as all users of the credit union, CFE limits the drive-thru to motorized vehicles only. We have made the determination to not allow pedestrians or cyclists in the drive-thru due to the applicable safety concerns.

    Additionally, to clarify the assumptions in your correspondence it is important to note that CFE is a proponent of fitness and the environment. As is often demonstrated through not only the events CFE sponsors, the participation of CFE employees in walk-a-thons, the green initiatives of the credit union and the placement of bicycle racks near the entrance to each branch, your concerns are in line with those of CFE.

    CFE will continue to support the community, support fitness and environmental concerns, but unfortunately will not be able to accommodate your request.

  2. guttersnipe - February 27, 2012

    Dear CFE,

    1. There is no bicycle rack in front of my CFE branch. Why discredit yourself with lies?
    2. A motorcyclist is no more of a safety concern than a cyclist. Why is there this arbitrary distinction between the two?
    3. You claim to be member-owned, but when a member asks to make a change, you dictate a response denying their request. Why don't we push this change out as a referendum to the members and let the actual owners decide?

    Oh Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union, I'd like to think you're better than a corporate bank, but you sure as hell aren't putting up a very good guise against your lying, dictatorial practices.

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