Anne-Claire, the co-founder and manager of Commuty shares with you an experience illustrating why parking should always be a part of a mobility policy in a company.
Basically, what we hear at a lot of companies, they tell us “we’d like to promote carpooling, we’d like to promote bicycle, public transportation and so on but change management is really difficult.” That’s true, change management is the hardest part of the work. There is a story that I like to tell that illustrates this really well. A company we work with wanted to promote carpooling and bicycle so we started implementing systems, promoting carpooling and bicycle, automating incentives, doing a lot of communication around carpooling and bicycle,...
We actually realized that a very little part of the company carpooled or cycled and we also realized that those people were people who already carpooled or already cycled before we actually implemented our actions.
So, the results were not really good and we started thinking with the company “what can we actually do to have people coming by car everyday trying out new ways of commuting to work?”.
This company had actually a very big parking issue. They have 150 parking spots that are dedicated by name. Those parking spots are empty 30 to 40% of the time. So it means that everyday, up to 40% of the parking spots are left empty. We decided to take a step back and to implement a system where the parking spots that are left empty can be booked by people driving to work and do not have access to the parking to be sure they will not drive 15 minutes to find a parking spot outside the parking building if there were empty parking spots inside the building.
This had a very big success: the parking usage rate increased drastically, people were happy and were everyday on the parking app to book their parking spots.
That’s where we said “OK, now it’s the time to synthetize people and push alternative mobility if it’s relevant for the people”. So basically, the very first step, that was very simple, is to say “OK, if you book a parking spot and you carpool, you have the highest priority on the free parking spots”. That’s where we realized that we got the first results of people, who did not even think of carpooling before, who actually looked for colleagues whom they could carpool with, one, twice, three times a week maybe, or a month because they knew that if they did that they would definitely have a parking spot.
We then implemented other alternative mobility options in the system but that’s not the point. What I want to explain here is that basically, by having a good parking policy and by integrating mobility in the parking policy, you actually talk to people who are the target: the people driving to work everyday and, most of the time, alone in their car.
You have this moment of attention when you explain to them who gets access or not to the parking and if you have an optimized system, you get them everyday on the parking booking system, you can actually in a very optimized way push alternative mobility to those people. And have them once in a while use another mean of transportation and get to the best results in terms of change management and having more people leaving their car home once in a while and using carpooling, public transportation, bicycle, coming by foot and so on. So basically, parking is a very very important part of your mobility policy in your company