Kristine Hess-Akens, from the sustainable mobility projects department, City of Aachen, outlines how the city administration is leading by example in the move towards shared and sustainable modes of transport.
Managing air pollution and improving quality of life in Aachen are important goals that can be achieved with different measures. These include the implementation of electric vehicles, the electrification of city buses and the construction of pedelec rental stations.
In order to set an example in the area of climate-friendly mobility, our city administration has set a new policy for business trips.
Based on a dedicated resolution by the municipality, strongly supported by the local government, the process started in early 2014. It serves as an example of good practice in change management, touching several interlinked areas, such as mobility behaviour, re-adjusting incentives and promoting sustainability.
The status quo for many years has been to reimburse employees for the use of their private cars when carrying out business trips, and to partially subsidise their work car parking space.
This scenario incentivised mobility behaviour that had to change. Heavy commuter traffic, CO2 emissions and the decreasing availability of space are just some of the challenges that needed to be addressed.
Partnering with a specialised consulting company (EcoLibro) proved successful. As a first step, all the business trips of five municipal departments were analysed. Data was gathered from all respective employees/drivers, incorporating a total of 122 private cars and six municipal cars (Dienstwagen), amounting to 2,200 business trips over six weeks.
As well as the distance of the trips and time of the day they were taken, the number of passengers and amount of luggage were also logged.
Through a so-called FLEETRIS analysis, the likely peak demands for a future carpool were identified.
Furthermore, the additional information led to the conclusion that almost all trips by the five departments analysed could be done with compact cars or even micro-cars.
On the basis of the analysed data, a carpool for the first department has now been introduced. The pilot phase started in February 2016.
The use of the new system became mandatory in early 2018. The City of Aachen strongly promotes intermodality and has thus developed an obligatory hierarchy with its new fleet concept.
A carpool for the first department has now been introduced.
If an employee needs to do a business trip, they are encouraged to either walk, cycle (using their own bicycle or sharing pedelec) or use public transport. In cases where this is not possible, they can use an e-vehicle from the city-owned carpool.
In instances where there is strong demand and no e-car is available, the City collaborates with the local car-sharing partner, cambio, for “overflow” usage.
The route information and booking of all vehicles is done through a locally developed app called Mobility Broker.
The new e-carpool, in combination with car-sharing, public transport and cycling, is now the backbone of the business trips of city staff.
The objective of the new municipal fleet management for the City of Aachen is to both re-think mobility behaviour and to also address Aachen’s responsibility to act as a pioneer to decrease unsustainable commuter traffic. We aim to raise awareness for intermodality and car-sharing and thus reduce CO2 emissions.
We aim to raise awareness for intermodality and car-sharing and thus reduce CO2 emissions.
Last but not least, the City of Aachen wants to position itself as a promoter of company mobility management. In the change-management process, the established system has been re-evaluated and the target is to encourage everyone to start thinking mobility in a broader context.