Initial findings from an Imperial College London academic study has indicated that access to a mobility hub at work can encourage employees to use active and shared travel options more often for commuting and business travel.
Through a partnership with Enterprise and Brompton Bike Hire, employees were offered free access to a car club or bicycle as an alternative to their own vehicle. The study has found employees increased the total number of journeys made by bicycle (52% of total journeys), and other active travel (65% of trips) over an eight-week period.
The collaboration said even more encouragingly, 63% of those in the trial responded that they planned to cycle more. With 25% reporting they would be less likely to commute using their own car after the positive experience of using the mobility hub.
More than a third (38%) agreed that knowing they could pick up a zero-emission car-club vehicle at work made joining the mobility hub and commuting by bike an easy choice. A similar number said they would be willing to pay to use the mobility hub in the future.
Professor Mary Ryan, vice-provost (research and enterprise) and college lead for the Transition to Zero Pollution Initiative, said: “This ambitious pilot project brought together researchers across College to explore one of the challenging aspects on the path to net zero. This interdisciplinary approach, coupling zero emissions technology with behavioural science and economics, leads to a solution that is both better for humans and the planet.
“It is exciting to work with Enterprise and Brompton, partners who share our vision for a more sustainable world – and we look forward to continued collaboration.”
The hub at Imperial’s South Kensington campus featured two Enterprise Car Club vehicles, one electric and one hydrogen powered, plus 25 Brompton folding bikes including five electric bikes.
It was operated over a four-month period and allowed Imperial to assess the impact on staff travel patterns by giving people more choices for sustainable and active transport.
The hub also enabled Imperial researchers to examine how commuting patterns and day-to-day travel can be changed from relying on ownership to using shared transport.
Participating employees received free membership and use of Enterprise Car Club and Brompton Bikes for the duration of the pilot. Both cars and bikes were booked through the Enterprise Car Club app.