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Design process

Optus Case Study

This section of the case study will outline key segments of the design process:

Conceptual framework

Detailed planning for the relocation commenced two years prior to the relocation, in 2005. The first stage involved agreeing the objectives and understanding the level and type of intervention needed. On the basis of this the Transport Strategy was designed, measures evaluated and then selected based on their appropriateness to meeting the objectives.

Internal corporate structure

Optus developed the Transport Strategy and supporting analytical models independently, with external consultants brought in when necessary to provide specific design assistance.

Responsibility for the Transport Strategy lies with the Optus Sustainable Transport Manager, supported by a Transport Administrator. Both positions are in Human Resources and dedicated full-time.

Overall ‘sponsorship’ for the relocation was provided by the CFO and the Director of Human Resources, with regular input and support from the CEO.

Employee engagement

Employee participation and engagement underpinned all design, development and implementation. It has been absolutely critical to the success of the Transport Strategy.

Engagement tools have included focus groups and workshops (initially prior to strategy development), web based resources such as the Optus Personalised Journey Planner, face-to-face travel ‘clinics’ and travel forums, and print media such as the ‘pocket travel guide’, fact sheets, posters and maps. Employees are also encouraged to contact the Transport Manager directly (via email drop-box or in person) for any specific issues.

To ensure individual’s commuting travel choices are appropriate and long lasting, the focus has been on empowering employees with sufficient knowledge and information with which to make informed decisions. Particular care has been taken to ensure employees receive information that is honest and straightforward.

Technical analysis

Detailed strategy design and selection of measures was informed by analysis of employee travel survey data, benchmarking (against Census data), and the results from two technical models developed by Optus specifically for the Transport Strategy.

A ‘catchment and capture’ model was designed to give a broad spatial estimation of mode share both before and after the move.  It was also particularly useful for identifying areas with poor public transport access to Macquarie Park and formed the basis of discussions with public transport providers regarding additional/enhanced public bus services.

The purpose of the ‘individual mode choice’ model was to enable testing of various transport strategy measures, particularly the effect on people’s journey to work choice from the introduction of varying levels of parking charge and a one-off subsidisation of public transport costs.

Design chronology

Particular care has always been paid to the order in which measures are launched. The ’05-‘07 design chronology details major steps in the initial development and implementation phase. The ’07-‘09 chronology highlights some of key measures implemented since the relocation finished.

Monitoring and evaluation

Optus has established a process of continuous monitoring of all aspects of the Transport Strategy. Central to this is the annual travel survey of OCS employees. The survey is designed to be quick and simple to complete so as to encourage a high and representative response (the 2007 survey was titled ‘The Two Minute Travel Survey’ and achieved a response rate of over 60%). Supplementary to this, data is collected through monthly ‘spot’ surveys of employees and passenger/user counts (e.g. number of people on a bus, number of bicycles in the car park).

Workshops and focus groups are held as necessary to address particular issues, and employees can contact the Transport Manager directly, anonymously if they wish, to raise any concerns. Regular qualitative analysis is conducted of feedback received to the email drop-box.

The broad range of quantitative and qualitative data collected facilitates regular reviewing of the effectiveness of travel plan measures and is also used to report formally to City of Ryde Council on achievement of the DA mode share targets.

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