Parking – your best friend in changing mobility of your company
Parking is a highly complex element of mobility policy in your company. It represents a considerable resource and can serve as both carrot and stick in achieving your mobility objectives. Parking policy is a tool of tremendous potential – it can promote carpooling, encourage modal shift towards more sustainable transport modes, and in the long term - increase the satisfaction not only of your employees, but also visitors. How can you use your parking policy to increase the success of your mobility objectives?
Parking policy is like a toothbrush – it must be your own
The key to success in corporate mobility is to understand the needs of YOUR company – there are no pre-made solutions. Even though many organizations face similar problems in mobility, the possible way to solve these problems will differ depending on the location, working hours, visitors’ flow, employees’ structure, site accessibility, size of the company etc. The unique patterns, strengths and weakness must be well reflected in your parking policy. Understanding how your people move and aligning it with your mobility objectives will help to define a policy, that will make your parking more than a resource – a tool to achieve your mobility goals.
In the 30 years of road safety experience, we have learned that many accidents are happening in the proximity to companies or even in the parking lots themselves. What does it mean for your company? Significant financial loses can be avoided if you take infrastructure safety in mind. Damages to your fleet, injuries, increased insurance costs – all of that can be left behind if you will address it at the early stage of creating your parking policy. According to Benoit Godard, spokesperson of Vias institute - It is of utter importance to start improving road safety from your own site – we know from the experience that ‘the darkest place is under the candle’.
Positive reinforcement – a carrot
Are you keen on improving the numbers in the modal split of your company? Look no more – the policy of your parking lot can be your best friend in encouraging people to change how they arrive to the office. There is hardly a better way of reinforcing the desired behavior than rewarding it. Do you want your employees to carpool more often? Grant them better parking spots for vehicles with higher occupancy. You want to see more people coming by bike? Make some space for a proper bicycle rack with shelter. Maybe you would like to offer more flexibility? What about shared cars or e-scooters – in your parking lot – exactly where your employees need them. "The parking lot is the starting and ending point of the mobility experience. If the space is smartly managed and optimized, it will be a leverage to change habits and improve urban mobility” - Julien Vandeleene, CEO & Founder of BePark.
When encouragement is not enough – a stick
While it is clear that switching a transport mode to something else than a car in some cases is not really an option, as clear is the fact that human is resistant to change – even when it is perfectly feasible. That is why your parking policy should reflect your desired mobility hierarchy – or in other words, degrade the convenience of making choices that you wish to minimize. Simple economics laws are proving that as long as you provide free, unconstrained parking for everyone, the occupancy will keep increasing – soon leaving you with filled parking lot and very few options to change that. If you want to be in control of your parking situation, start thinking who are the people that should have the priority to use it. This way, you will naturally discourage employees who could use transport mode other than a car to arrive to the office unless that is necessary. Your parking policy is a tool for influencing the mobility choices of your employees.
Make it future-proofed
Even thought your parking policy should be reflecting the current mobility patterns in your company, think ahead. Being one of the most disruptive fields, mobility is not only developing, but is also being constrained by numerous new legislations with more to come. While thinking about your parking policy, keep in mind that the mandatory transition to electric vehicles is just around the corner. Make sure that your parking lot is equipped in necessary infrastructure to allow charging and regulate that process already on the policy level – that will not only save you some chaos, but also provide additional tool to manage the mobility of your employees. And if you planned everything well – already think how you can benefit from the surface that you freed by making your corporate mobility smarter and safer.