What can be better than something which is always available and for your personal use only? Most car owners would probably say: “Nothing”. It is the freedom to come and go as you wish, without engaging anyone. Full flexibility, my home away from home. In many countries, cars are perceived as a status symbol, not least in Malta, a natural add-on to your remuneration pack. Shared mobility has been perceived in the western world as a step down. Has been perceived… as things are changing.
My uncle and auntie used to have a map of their neighbourhood on their fridge, where they pinpointed the current parking location of their car. Often the car was not touched for days, as public transport was more convenient. Consequently, at some point they decided that they would opt for free public transport offered by their company rather than keeping their company car.
We can see that more and more companies offer their employees access to mobility, rather than company cars. This has several reasons: first of all – offering mobility to employees is significantly cheaper than keeping up a fleet. With the same annual budget companies are able to provide a more attractive remuneration pack to all employees, rather than a selected few. But it is not only the money which counts. Quoting Yves Helven from Fleet Europe, we would see “more relaxed employees, more efficient commuting and, why not, less square meters of car parks to lease and lease contracts with lower mileage.”
The message is also clear: the company cares! They care about their employees and their health, they care about the environment – and they care about their investors too, as operational costs will go down. It seems to be a win-win-win situation.
But if this is all so good and everyone is happily ever after: why is the take-up of such offerings so slow? A few years ago, I would have agreed with the argument that the supply was not diverse enough or costs were too high (who can afford to use taxis for the daily commute?). But this argument does not hold water anymore.
Pretty much every city in the world offer at least public transport, and the majority have also other new mobility solutions available, such as car sharing, ride pooling or micromobility. Most operators have special B2B offers in place and their dedicated sales team is more than happy to create tailor-made offers based on the requirements of any type and size of business.
What needs to follow now is a change in mind-set. Be open. Embrace the change. Enjoy the freedom, not having to sit behind the own steering wheel, fighting for a parking spot. Get a new perspective. Green Mobility Plans for employees – here we come.
Written by Nicoletta Moss
Images by chuttersnap and Ryan Searle