The role of the 'mobility manager' was introduced in 1998 in Italian legislation, although having such a position has only recently become mandatory. On 10 May, the Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility, Enrico Giovannini, signed, along with the Minister of Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani, the decree on the establishment of the mandatory position in companies with more than 100 employees and in municipalities with over 50,000 inhabitants.
At the time of its establishment, more than 20 years ago, the goal was to optimise urban mobility and to reduce the negative impacts of transport. Today, due to the pandemic, the focus has shifted to employees' health, social distancing and the management of smart working.
The mobility manager, indeed, is responsible for providing information on mobility, pollution and sustainable means of transport. He/she has to prepare and revise the organisation's "Home-Work Travel Plan" that sets the framework for the organisation of home-work journeys by promoting the use of car-pooling, car sharing and collective cabs, as well as public transport, cycling and walking. The aim is to reduce the use of private transport by giving employees useful information and creating a culture of sustainable mobility.
In addition, a €50 million fund has been assigned by the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility to support the work of mobility managers. This was foreseen by the national decree “Decreto Sostegni bis” to support the recovery after the pandemic. Specifically, the funds, available throughout 2021, aim to help the implementation of "Home-Work Travel Plans", which inter alia aim to coordinate better connection between work/school and public transport schedules. Of the funds, 70% will be destined to those public administrations and companies that had appointed their mobility manager and had prepared their plan by the end of the summer of 2021. The remaining €15 million will be destined for schools.
To date, according to data from Euromobility (the Italian Association of Mobility Managers), there are about 850 mobility managers in companies and only 66 at the municipal or territorial level. After the introduction of the mandatory requirement for this role, the association expects a boom in new positions and sees a need for more training of the new recruits.
Original article published by Corriere della Sera on 26 June 2021
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