Alternative Transport Solutions - Survey Results
In our June 2013 poll we asked readers to tell us which alternative transport solutions are being adopted or proposed at their office premises. The results of the poll show that bicycle-related schemes are the most popular measures while low-emission vehicles are tailing the available / proposed solutions.
Note: Poll based on 71 votes cast between June and November 2013
Over one-third of participants said that secure bicycle storage and bicycle-purchase incentive schemes are available with their employers or at their office premises. Secure bicycle storage equipment, which is now part of all major green building certification systems, is not only encouraging existing cycle owners to commute by bike but is also broadening the ownership of bicycles by employees. Supporting this trend, dedicated cycle lanes and public cycle-hire schemes have seen a strong uptake in major cities over the past years, while tax-efficient incentives to acquire bikes, such as the UK's Cycle to Work Scheme, have resulted in thousands more people replacing motorised transport by 'soft' transport means.
Public transport incentives have been made available to staff by employers for quite some time and this measure tops the list (jointly) as the most widely available alternative solution. In France, for example, 50% of the cost of an employee's public transport season ticket is funded by the employer, based on a favourable tax treatment which encourages the use of public transport in large cities such as the Paris agglomeration.
Carpooling and car sharing is the third most popular way; 18% of the poll revealing measures that encourage reductions in air pollution, petrol use and congestion in cities. The LEED Green Building Certification scheme rewards such measures under the condition that a minimum of 5% of a building's parking spaces are reserved for carpools or vanpools. While carpooling - using one vehicle to transport more than one passenger - emerged during the first oil shock in the early 1970s to save petrol, car sharing is a more recent trend, where one vehicle can be used by several drivers, thus reducing the amount of material resources needed for cars, limiting the number of car parking spaces in cities and providing access to more people due to its shared financing.
Low-emission vehicles and their associated electric-charging stations are a more recent trend that makes an allowance for the use of personal motorised transport but with a diminished environmental impact. Low-emission vehicle uptake has also been encouraged by official labelling schemes that provide certain tax incentives according to emission thresholds. In Europe, the CO2 labelling of cars was introduced by an EU directive in 1999 requiring manufacturers to include this in relevant marketing materials. For owners of low-emission vehicles, a number of governments have subsequently introduced exemptions from a number of vehicle taxes, such as the congestion charge levied on vehicles using the inner-London road network.
A final and encouraging sign is that only 3% of survey participants stated that their employer did not propose or have in place any alternative transport solution.