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Member in the Spotlight: Workplace Mobility Plans encourage companies towards sustainable urban mobility in Toulouse, France

26 March 2013

Polis member Toulouse was selected a finalist for the SUMP Award 2012 for its "its long history in and experience with sustainable urban mobility planning" (Jury comment). The theme of the Award for this year was Stakeholder and citizen participation in the SUMP. Find out about the sustainable mobility challenges that Toulouse has been facing and how it dealt with them.

Background

The Toulouse greater agglomeration area (its SUMP perimeter covers 117 municipalities) has experienced a steady increase of its population for over thirty years, which has resulted in the extensive development of its Western and Northern territories, but also in a strong urban sprawl beyond the first ring. This urban sprawl, however, strengthens car dependency and can be a major obstacle to the development of alternatives to private car use. In addition, a lot of companies in Toulouse are located outside the city with not enough public transport infrastructures.

The development of the public transport (PT) network has focused on the implementation of a metro network. Dedicated bus lanes and tram lines are connected to this metro network. It is therefore a star‐shaped network that finds its limits in terms of geographical coverage and intermodality with other PT networks at interurban and regional (railway) levels.

In this context, sustainable mobility turns into a challenge. But the Greater Toulouse has committed to a long-term mobility policy strategy and more specifically to a modal shift from the personal car to public transport and soft modes. In 2008, Tisséo‐SMTC, the Public Transport Authority of the Greater Toulouse launched a review process of its former SUMP adopted in 2001. In October 2012, the new version of the SUMP was adopted and now the implementation phase has started.

Urban Transport Policy Objectives of the City

The main objectives of the Greater Toulouse SUMP are as follows:

  • to set up a global parking policy,
  • to reduce the number of traffic accidents, including accidents involving soft modes,
  • to support the development of carsharing and carpooling,
  • to incentivise companies and public administrations in establishing Workplace Mobility Plans,
  • to consider urban logistics, including the creation of space for the redistribution of goods and coordination between the public and private sector,
  • to insist on fare policy: evolution of intermodal and combined fares or specific fares for certain user categories,
  • to implement transports networks, road and public space settlement accessibility schemes.

In addition to that, the agglomeration has set clear and realistic objectives for its modal share in 2020. These are (compared against 2008):

The Workplace Mobility Plans (WMP) – Managing Mobility in a Sustainable Way

One of the main objectives of Toulouse's SUMP is to encourage companies and public administrations to implement commuter plans – the Workplace Mobility Plans (WMP). Toulouse Public Transport Authority, Tisséo, is encouraging local mobility management initiatives by supporting companies' and administrations' Workplace Mobility Plans (WMP). Thanks to their work, in 2012, Toulouse metropolitan area counts 120 WMP and over        170,000 employees covered by this action.

By using dialogue and cooperation, Tisséo tries to take the best choice of concrete measures for companies and employees in order to make credible possible alternatives to the individual car. Tisséo provides support in several aspects: methodological support, awareness-raising actions, communication material, adjustment of transport offer to the new needs of transportation, financial support.

Methodological support

Tisséo has designed a 5-step methodology for workplace mobility planning which includes: Diagnostic – Inquiries – Validation of the Action Plan – Calendar and Action Scheduling – Evaluation.

When an organisation decides to implement a WMP and chooses to apply this methodology, if required, Tisséo can assume the role of "Project Officer" and pilot the whole commuter plan implementation for the organisation (with its collaboration). Tisséo has also developed a tool that provides geolocalisation of employees and facilitates companies/administration Mobility Diagnostic. Tisséo can also specifically work on the elaboration of specifications (for preliminary studies - Diagnostic), on the bid analysis and provide assistance on the implementation of Ecomobile actions (e.g. setting up of a bicycle company fleet, carpooling service, etc.).

The whole process shall take one year from Diagnostic to Action Plan.

Awareness-raising actions

Tisséo can organise awareness actions by animating meetings, exhibition and stands and by providing multimodal information to companies. Animations and stands enable contact with commuters and promote carpooling solutions or give multimodal information to users. Furthermore, in 2011 an extranet platform dedicated to companies to exchange their best practices and good examples of measures, has been set up by Tisséo to encourage their sustainable urban mobility actions (http://pde.tisseo.fr/accueil).

Role of organisations

The dedicated team could help in identifying the role of organisations in the solution implementation and make the link with relevant actors.

Dissemination material

Specific communication materials could also be provided by Tisséo (leaflets, brochure, PPT presentation, pedagogic kits, goodies, etc.).

Adaptation of the transport offer

The public transports offer could also be slightly adapted in function of needs.

Financial support

Finally, a financial support could be proposed by Tisséo, only during preliminary studies (Step 1 Diagnostic). The threshold of this grant is €4 500 and could not exceed 25% of the final cost of studies.

Tisséo has dedicated Personalised Travel Assistants and Research Analyst in Mobility from its Ecomobility Department to be constantly on the ground nearby companies and administrations. They are in charge of contacting companies, organising the first awareness meetings and assuring follow-up with the organisations for implementation.

A step further was set up in 2012 with the implementation of a labelling process to distinguish exemplary approaches - Tisséo Mobility Management Award. This label, delivered for 2 years, is also one of the priorities of Toulouse Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP). The 3 levels of the award (Gold/ Silver and Bronze) offer not only recognition, but also several advantages to employers to promote alternatives to the indi­vidual car. Thales Alenia Space won the Gold Prize in 2012 for being involved for 11 years in an active WMP process. The industrial site welcomes every day nearly 3 000 employees. Among the many actions implemented, the working time arrangements, the creation of a voluntary car­pooling service and facilities in favour of cycling have to be highlighted. Only between 2001 and 2004, for example, Thales Alenia Space reduced the use of the car by its employees from 88.7% to 80% and increased the use of public transport from 1.5% to 5%, of the bicycle from 1.7% to 5% and carpooling from 3% to 5%.

Two companies have been awarded the Silver Prize – EADS Astrium and Motorola. EADS Astrium aids particularly employees in purchasing a bicycle and safety equipment, in developing videoconferencing and telecommuting, real-time information on traffic conditions on the road network is provided. The use of private car strongly de­creased in favour of public transport and soft modes since 2006 when a WMP for EADS Astrium was developed.

In January 2006, a WMP for Motorola was launched as well. After 6 years, a decrease in the use of private car (-7%) in favour of the bike (+11%) has been observed. A secured bike parking was built in the com­pany, with showers and lockers to encourage cycling. A direct access to the bus stop closest to the site has also been created.

Figures show that the WMP have given results. The 1st edition of the Award has been a success and Tisséo will carry on with it. The Ministry of Environment, represented by its regional agen­cy, ADEME, is very interested in broadly promoting this WMP labelling approach and adapting it for a national frame.

Future perspectives

For 2013, three strategic axes of activity development have been identified:

  • focus on WMP at inter-companies level (dedicated to business areas);
  • optimise existing tools and promotion activities;
  • propose innovative promotion and communication actions.