Employees of the City Hall and municipal companies become role models for the new mobility as they develop and implement their work travel plans. Bigger companies are following the good example to benefit their employees.
Background & Objectives
Traffic jams at the start of a working day have become a challenge for big cities but smaller cities share the problem as the dependancy on cars increases. In Koprivnica, Croatia, the city's mobility policies have enabled the development of an extensive network of cycling tracks and pedestrian footpaths. Nevertheless, trips to work are still largely made by car. While supporting the city's initiative for more sustainable transport during European Mobility Week, big companies still resist supporting more sustainable transport modes on a daily basis. The EU funded project Active Access has engaged them in the production of company travel plans in order to prove the benefits of sustainable travel choices. Wishing to serve as a good example, the town administration and municipal utility company decided to start the trend.
Initial surveys of travel behaviour revealed both objective difficulties and subjective preconceptions. While the absence of public transport inside the city presented a realistic difficulty, the long-term habit of individual motorised transport by private cars seemed the most difficult obstacle. A solution was found in several annual car-free days, supported by leading decision-makers and company management.>In 2010 the first work travel plan was produced by the municipal utility company. The city administration followed by finalising their travel plan in 2011, while the leading local industry is currently developing their travel plans. Incentives offered to employees changing their travel patterns have rewarded positive attitudes and motivated more employees to follow the good example. Bicycle shelters, free breakfasts and cycling safety equipment proved to be very popular and cost-effective incentives.
While a shortage of funds and absence of ambitious and self-motivated "drivers of change" still presents a challenge, the biggest problem is the complete absence of support for active travel in national transport strategies. At the same time, the results achieved by the first travel plans implemented are very positive. There was a 5% increase of active travel in the first year of implementation and another 5% increase in the second year. Mobility management measures at work also contributed to additional reduction of travel expenses "at work" by 10% in the municipal utility company. Walking and cycling "champions" in the companies have additionally fostered change in their working environment. Additional support is expected by international management of the big local companies.