Members ‘Task Force Bereikbaarheid Zuidas’ making strides to improve access

Photography: Nestor Tsakirakis, Studio Klijn

In 2016, members of the Zuidas Accessibility Task Force signed an agreement committing to measures to reduce employee car use for travel between home and work. These members employ almost 16,000 people in Zuidas, and visitors and students make some 5.5 million journeys to their organizations each year. Recently, a member survey was conducted to find out if the organizations are accomplishing their goals.

The good news is that Task Force members have cut commuter car journeys by roughly 9% over the past five-year period. Employees are more often commuting by public transport (+5%) or bicycle (+3%). This is a result of several steps that member organizations have taken.
Just under half of the members cut their parking capacity in the past five years. Those that kept the same number of parking spaces implemented targeted parking policies, assigning parking access based on criteria such as commuting distance, job title or use of a lease car. Some members disposed of staff parking entirely. At present, members have a combined total of 7,250 parking spaces for employees and visitors, 5% of which have EV charging stations. Member mobility policies have also effected a shift in lease car use in recent years. A sizeable majority have reduced their lease fleets. Reductions range from 10% to upwards of 25%. In place of lease schemes, many introduced personal
mobility budgets that employees can use to pay for their chosen mode of travel.

Encouraging options 

Most organizations encourage employees to bicycle to work, use public transportation or, to a lesser extent, use shared mobility. Bike use is being incentivized in a variety of ways. Most members have introduced bicycle schemes enabling employees to buy a bike by means of a tax-deductible gross/net allowance. Others have opted for a bike lease scheme where lease payments are deducted from workers’ gross salary. Task Force members have more parking spaces for bikes than for automobiles. Of a combined total of 11,400 spaces, only 2% are equipped
with charging stations. All member organizations have shower facilities for bike commuters. Members that offer mobility budgets do
not reimburse public transport expenses as well, as these are covered by the personal budget. Most members issue mobility passes for public transport travel or reimburse the full amount. Almost all members have shared company bicycles on-site, whereas about half provide shared company cars. A small minority reimburse the costs of using commercial shared bike or car systems that are available in public areas. Public
shared scooter services are not reimbursed anywhere at the present time, although employees with mobility budgets may of course use any paid shared vehicle service they choose.

Hybrid work policies

Most organizations give their office employees hybrid work options. At just over half, employees are in principle free to work where and when they wish, provided they work on location a set number of days per week. At the time of the survey, organizations were still fine-tuning their
hybrid work policies. Where weekday office occupancy averaged 83% five years ago, now this percentage is 53%. In other words, not only are fewer workers commuting by car, motorists are also commuting less often overall. Almost all member organizations provide employees with an allowance to set up a home workspace. The majority also pay an allowance for days on which an employee works from home.

A consideration with hybrid working is that accessibility would be better if workers came to the office spread out more across the week. Tuesdays and Thursdays are currently the busiest weekdays, just as they were pre-Covid. Organizations are not yet actively encouraging this kind of distribution. To the extent that such agreements are being made, it is either at team level or arranged top-down. The same goes for commuting outside peak hours, which is also not being actively promoted by organizations. Two-thirds of the workforce is still commuting during rush hours. Spreading this traffic out (across both the week and day) would deliver big gains.

The Zuidas Accessibility Task Force is an alliance between government and industry partners established to foster discussion about access to
Zuidas. Member companies take part in the Task Force as users of the area with a responsibility for maintaining good access to Zuidas. The
Zuidas Accessibility Task Force is part of the From A to Zuidas (Van A tot Zuidas) platform.

The From A to Zuidas platform has designed various initiatives in recent years to maintain and/or improve access to Zuidas. Most members have taken part in one or more of these projects, including an e-bike trial, mobility scan and recommendation, and the Amaze journey planner.