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The Transport Challenge

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Across Australia, all states are facing transport challenges. More people, more travel, more congestion, less space, less time. But the ability to access jobs and services and to be able to travel easily and efficiently is essential for a healthy growing economy and community well-being. How to balance these demands for increasing mobility with the imperative to minimise congestion and environmental impacts is one of the greatest challenges Australia will face.

Workplace Travel Plans are now proven as one way in which organisations and Government can better manage travel and transport, to the benefit of all stakeholders:

  • The organisation
  • Its employees and
  • The wider community.

Here's some of the bigger companies who have invested in developing successful Workplace Travel Plans, in Australia and overseas:

  • Optus
  • Vodaphone
  • Melbourne Water
  • BBC
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • HBOS
  • UK Department of Transport

Workplace Travel Plans are an opportunity for NSW...

According to the NSW Government’s recently released 2010 Metropolitan Transport Plan, by 2036 Sydney is expected to grow by 1.7 million people to a population of 5.98 million. On an average weekday in 2036, there will be over 3.5 million vehicle trips, over two million rail trips (up from 850,000 in 2006) and 1.6 million bus trips. The numbers are quite staggering.

So, it is more than likely that all employers in NSW will, at some point, face their own challenges related to travel and transport:

  • Providing parking for staff may be too costly or impossible due to space constraints
  • Business travel may be increasingly expensive and time consuming
  • Traffic congestion can waste time and affect productivity
  • Recruitment might be difficult because of a lack of good transport options for commuting and
  • Increased community and shareholder pressure to be seen to be ‘green’.

All these issues can be addressed and resolved through a Workplace Travel Plan. In NSW, it’s quite common to find organisations which have implemented one-off initiatives encouraging employees to walk or cycle to work, often called ‘end of trip facilities’, bicycle parking or change rooms. Whilst these initiatives may solve a particular problem or need, they will not result in the sort of wider benefits which are known to come from having a Workplace Travel Plan – an integrated package of measures which work together to achieve a bigger outcome.

Northern Beaches Health Service Workplace Travel Plan

The Plan has been designed to improve the health and well-being of their employees, and so position the health service as a leader in health promotion.

"As a health service we wanted our plan to set an example to other businessses and organisations" - Paul Klarenaar

It has generated a lot of interest amongst the media and local community.

And monitoring data suggests an increase in the number of people cycling to work.

One of the reasons for the wider benefits comes from the synergies that develop between individual measures. For example promoting use of public transport and also making sure the pedestrian routes to the workplace are direct, safe and sheltered.

Workplace Travel Plans are not new to Australia, but there are only a couple of examples in NSW of organisations which have developed and seen the significant benefits of a fully integrated package of measures - a Workplace Travel Plan.

But more and more organisations are starting to recognise the potential benefits and starting to talk about developing their own Plans.

Key references

Additional Resources

 

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