Mobility Coaching for Companies in Leiedal’s “Together Smarter to Work” Project
We get stuck in a traffic jam en masse. Yes, also in South West Flanders. An important asset, our easy accessibility, is gradually becoming something from a not so distant past. In addition, the excess of car traffic causes poor air quality and takes up a lot of space. "Something needs to change urgently," we shout together. "I'm tired of always being stuck in traffic." But aren't we partly the cause of those traffic jams when we're in it? Who needs to change anything? Government? The employers? Those other drivers!?
The Together Smarter to Work project explored various ways to better organise commuter traffic and thus generate economic, ecological, spatial and health benefits. Actions and tools such as the Together Smarter to Work– route planner, a carpool platform for the area Hoog-Kortrijk, group purchases for bicycles, a mobility market and more were aimed at employers, employees as well as government agencies and other partners. The most important conclusions of these actions and tools are summarised in project files and can be consulted on the project website www.samenslimmernaarhetwerk.be.
What have we learned? The mobility landscape is evolving rapidly and there are many providers of various forms of mobility – but they are often not well known or the entry is too complex. We must leave the idea that we can all continue to go to work only by car. However, many measures are needed to achieve a real turnaround: hard infrastructure measures such as safe bicycle facilities, a more attractive offer in terms of public/collective transport, tax incentives in the form of a well-considered mobility budget and a varied offer tailored to employees.
The many contact moments with companies and organisations showed that they often lack an overview on the options. Employers need professional coaching to guide their employees towards tailor-made smart mobility. A mobility coach may possibly unburden the dedicated managers in this regard. The mobility coach is an expert who knows the services of the many mobility providers perfectly, responds to new forms of mobility such as Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and can support companies in tax, legal and communication matters. Now within the framework of the three-year extension of the SHARE-North project, Leiedal wants to further develop and test the concept of the mobility coach.
The result? Commuter traffic that combines the best of many worlds by focusing on sharing mobility, optimising multimodal traffic and providing a worthy and affordable alternative to purely motoring.
Leiedal and the Chamber of Commerce (Voka) have been working together for the past 3 years on the project Together Smarter to Work. The project focuses on raising awareness and encouraging sustainable commuter traffic to 7 business parks in South-West Flanders, and focussed on stakeholder involvement as a driver for change. Together Smarter to Work received the support of the Flemish government, the province of West Flanders, Unizo (sectoral association of small businesses), 6 cities and municipalities, and the EU (through the SHARE- North project).