Things are not going well for today's commuter. The big cities are becoming more and more congested, and both home and office are becoming increasingly difficult to reach. Colleagues come out of the traffic jam stressed and frustrated. And often they are late. Because they still have to find a parking space, of course. The spots they can find are expensive. It's not much better on public transport during the rush hour. Crammed compartments and the risk of delays is always lurking.
Damage caused by traffic jams amounts to 1.1 billion euros
In 2017, the business sector suffered economic losses of between 983 million euros and 1.3 billion euros as a result of traffic jams, according to figures from sector organisations TLN and evofenedex. That is the highest level since the crisis. What can facility managers do about it? Except hold his breath for the figures of 2018 and 2019? In any case, not enough.
Of course they know that the bicycle is a smart alternative to the car and public transport, but facility managers do not take it seriously yet. But why not? Because by riding a bicycle, they can do their colleagues, their company and, ultimately, themselves a great favour. The advantages of the bicycle are well known, but perhaps it is useful to list them once more.
The bicycle versus the car:
- Bicycle parking is dirt cheap compared to car parks or garages;
- Bicycles need much, much less space than cars. Both while driving and while parked. The footprint of a car can easily accommodate 8 to 10 bicycles;
- For a bicycle, it is easier to find a parking space, often just outside the door;
- Research shows that 10 to 20 percent of the parking expenditure of Dutch companies is wasted money. Simply because they do not use the parking space efficiently;
- When travelling by bicycle, you are in complete control of your travel time. So you are not at the mercy of traffic jams or rail failures;
- Constructing one kilometre of motorway is 240 times more expensive than constructing one kilometre of cycle track.
1% more bicycle commuters yields 1.8 million euro every day
A few more figures. On a weekday, our country has around 10 million commuting. Three quarters of these are done by car. 10% of commuters travel by train and only 6% use a bicycle to go to work. Often these are short trips of about 7.5 kilometres. The average distance for commuting, however, is 22.6 kilometres, much of which is about 10 to 15 kilometres. For a normal bicycle, that may be a lot. But with a electric bike you cover the distance in less than 20 minutes.
Imagine that as of now 1% more commuters take to their bikes. That would already save our country 1.8 million euro in one day in social costs. save costs. Yet something that facility managers should think about.
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