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Customising To Your Needs

NSCCAHS Bike fleet

There’s no such thing as a ‘standard’ Workplace Travel Plan, or a standard cost or standard benefit, because the form and design of a Plan depends entirely on the nature of the organisation developing it and the outcomes they want to achieve. But it is accepted that Workplace Travel Plans do work.

Evidence collected since the mid 90’s shows that good Workplace Travel Plans reduce the amount of people driving to work by 5-15%. Even at the lowest point, these percentages translate into parking spaces freed up, costs reduced, and a positive impact on the community and on traffic congestion.

Optus Workplace Travel Plan

Originally developed in response to the company's relocation to Macquarie Park, Optus's Plan is now in it's 4th year and forms an integral part of the business.

The strategies include;

  • Reducing the need to travel
  • Improving non-car methods of travel and
  • Making the most efficient use of the car parking spaces on-site.

Monitoring results continue to show a significantly greater proportion of Optus employees travel to work by non-car modes, particularly public transport, than is the norm in the business park.

The Plan is wholly self-funded, using revenue raised from charging for car parking spaces. 

Historically, Workplace Travel Plans have been developed to focus on sustainability or environmental issues, but as the wider benefits have been recognised organisations are developing Plans for more varied reasons:

  • Attract and/or retain a more diverse and inclusive employee group
  • Improve employee health, wellbeing and work/life balance & reduce absenteeism
  • Enhance the organizations sustainable/environmental credentials and standing as an employer of choice
  • Reduce road or other network congestion in and around sites
  • Optimise overall productivity (as a result of any of the above)
  • Save costs
  • Minimise the organisation’s environmental impact

And remember, a Travel Plan is not just something for the big companies, or for corporate offices.

Smaller organisations, like theatres, charities, cleaning companies, travel agents and hotels are getting involved. The UK’s Transport for London has had widespread take up of their program to help organisations with 20-250 employees get Travel Plans up and running.

 

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ Travel Plan, but a Plan can be tailored to suit every organisation

It’s a common misconception that Workplace Travel Plans are only appropriate for large organisations with predominantly white collar employees. This is not the case. Any organisation can benefit from a Plan, but the type of Plan appropriate for a large organisation is likely to be quite different to a Plan appropriate for a much smaller employer.

The table below gives some examples of Travel Plans appropriate for different sizes and types of employers.

 
20 or less employees 20-250 employees 250 plus employees
Mainly office based employees

Generic process can be very low key and informal.

Consider focusing on one or two low cost key initiatives or promotions which will directly benefit employees and impact positively on the business – measures to support walking and cycling for instance.

Look into joining existing car sharing databases, bicycle clubs etc.

Try and form alliances with other organisations developing a Travel Plan.

Look into forming a ‘Transport Network’.

Likely to be beneficial to form alliances with other organizations in the locality also developing a Workplace Travel Plan.

Could focus on key cost saving opportunities such as business travel, and reducing fleet expenses.

A full package of Travel Plan measures is likely to be required, with a dedicated Travel Plan co-ordinator.

Larger organisations could consider working in partnership with transport providers and the local authority to offer new/enhanced services, infrastructure, or Travel Demand Management (TDM) measures.

Dedicated employee buses may be appropriate.

Workplace Travel Plan is likely to need to consider transport & travel impacts on the local community.

Employees mainly working outside/in workshops

Likely to need consideration of cars as a ‘tool of trade’, i.e. for carrying equipment. Could be opportunities to promote car-sharing.

Could also consider promoting walking & cycling more as social activities, to improve staff health and fitness.

Employees mainly working unsociable hours/shifts

May initially seem to be limited to opportunities to encourage people onto non-car forms of transport.

Consider focusing on making access to public transport safer & easier. There may also be opportunities to promote car-sharing (for those on matching shifts), but will need ‘emergency ride home’ support.

 

Key references

Additional Resources

 

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