Modes of transport and allowances
Fontys currently employs 4,700 people, with an average of 58% commuting by car, 26% by bicycle or on foot and 15% by public transport. For business travel, employees can use an OV-chipkaart or file separate expense claims. If they take the car, they’ll get €0.24 per kilometre travelled, without any parking allowance. Of the approximately 45,000 students 53% use public transport, 30% come by bike or on foot and 15% take the car.
Cars relatively popular
Fontys was prompted to draw up a mobility policy by the deteriorating accessibility of its large campuses in particular. Not all of these 12 locations and 30 buildings are near a station, and growing student numbers were starting to create bottlenecks. As a preliminary study, Fontys investigated its employees’ preferred mode of transport and the length of their commute, discovering that 27% of employees who live within a 7.5 km radius of the workplace take the car. Ronald Timmermans, property consultant and mobility programme manager: ‘The main reason is that we have completely unrestricted parking.’
The figures mentioned above reflect the situation as of June 2016. Since September 2016, employees are entitled to full reimbursement for public transport travel expenses, while the organisation’s bike scheme has been expanded. Employees living outside a 10km radius of a campus will continue to receive a full car travel allowance, while the scheme will be gradually phased out over the course of 3 years for employees living closer to their campus.
In late December, Fontys adopted a 3-pronged mobility plan.
The first prong states that good accessibility is essential for the continuity of education. Timmermans: ‘That means that we have to intervene in locations that are not easily accessible.’
The second prong is about socially responsible mobility. ‘What we’re saying is that we would rather have people come to campus by bike, on foot or with public transport’, Timmermans explains.
The third prong revolves around the structural accessibility of Fontys campuses, with the University of Applied Sciences committing to finding the best way to get to and from each of its campuses.
Should the policy and various incentives fail to produce the desired results, Fontys has one final ace up its sleeve: paid parking. As part of the mobility agenda, parking policies will be developed in 2017. Timmermans: ‘We won’t add any more parking spaces, so if the existing capacity turns out to be insufficient, paid parking will have to be the solution.’ Fontys is also working on alternative modes of transport, developing a car-pooling app and launching a shuttle service between Kaldenkirchen and its Venlo campus.
In developing its vision on mobility, Fontys was assisted by a third-party consultancy firm. What’s more, it also outsourced the organisation and admin for public transport season tickets. Van den Hout: ‘We put in requests for quotes with multiple parties, but we ultimately opted by the party that NS had recommended to us. We couldn’t be happier!’