1.3. Staff travel planning

Staff travel planning today features among the top agenda items, due to increasing fuel costs and growing car traffic, especially in urban areas. It aims to promote sustainable transport and manage the demand for car use by changing employees’ behaviour. Some countries or regions have made it mandatory to establish transport plans for medium and large-size companies. Staff travel planning involves implementing measures such as information and communication and organising alternative transport services.

As part of their commitment to sustainability, energy sobriety and corporate image, transport operators should try to encourage their staff to choose low-carbon transport options. The location chosen for sites (depots, workshop, office buildings) will strongly determine the behaviour of staff, since good public transport services will encourage them to leave their car at home more often. Maintenance staff and drivers have to deal with inconvenient work hours, either early in the morning or late at night. As a result, alternatives to private transport for them may be compromised.

Nevertheless, measures can be taken to influence commuting patterns, thus bringing significant benefits to the company:

  • Better corporate image
  • Less traffic in the vicinity of the building
  • Less need for parking on the site
  • Improved productivity and motivation.
Developing a transport plan requires a coordinated methodology:

Fig. 47 – Standard procedure to establish an action plan

  • Firstly, the main targets and philosophy should be defined, though not necessarily with figures
  • Secondly, an audit of the present situation should be carried out through surveys and statistics analysis, to learn about current travel practices, and the constraints and advantages of these. Data about the residential locations of employees and work schedules must be gathered. This data can be used to develop spatial sectors and time categories
  • The third step involves setting up a plan, which should include tangible measures to achieve the predefined targets. In many cases, those measures will have to be incentives, in order to be efficient, and they will require the allocation of a specific budget. Examples of incentives include:
    • Free access to public transport
    • Organising a shuttle service by bus or taxi during night hours
    • Carpool database for staff members (can be open to other companies located nearby)
    • Free access to company bikes or to a bike- sharing system for daily commutes and professional use
    • Financial help for employees purchasing a bike or using a bike-leasing scheme
    • Discount on tickets purchased from another public-transport company
    • Third-party contracts with car-sharing companies and/or shared use of company cars
    • Parking management scheme.
  • The last step relates to communication, which is essential. Targeted awareness campaigns and follow-up will act as important levers. Communication actions must be permanent and address various topics.