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Smart Cities
July 3, 2019

When Traffic and Parking Get in the Way of Business

Organisations are starting to be held responsible for their contribution to traffic congestion. Read our C.A.S.E. for Shared Mobility.

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Traffic is hurting Australian business

Australia’s transportation infrastructure has had difficulty keeping up with traffic demands, and this is coming at a high cost to businesses.

Workers are now facing lengthy commutes. These commutes not only compromise productivity, but they can also discourage a candidate from accepting a better job if the organisation is in a traffic-heavy location. The result is that companies aren’t able to attract the best talent due to difficulties getting to work or meet their full staffing potential.

Traditional traffic solutions aren’t working

Sydney and other major cities are trying to solve this problem by building new highways and roads. While this seems like a good idea on its face, this actually has the potential to make the problem worse.

It’s a paradox known as 'induced demand'—when demand rises as soon as more supply is available. Once new roads are built, more people use them. The promise of reduced congestion attracts commuters who once avoided these traffic-clogged avenues in favour of public transport or other forms of travel. Consequently, commuter routes and business precincts end up even more crowded before, worsening the original problems faced by affected organisations.

The issue also arises with parking. When corporations provide parking lots and structures to their employees, more of their staff will choose to drive to work. The demand for parking spaces grows, and many companies believe the only answer is to invest in expensive parking expansions. But the vicious cycle continues: as more spaces become available, even more workers choose to commute by driving.

So if building more roads and parking structures doesn’t work to reduce traffic and parking congestion, then what does? What can organisations do to minimise the issue, while still helping their commuting workers?

Shared mobility can prevent induced demand

Organisations are starting to be held responsible for their contribution to traffic congestion. Now that Workplace Travel Plans (WTPs) are necessary for development applications, more Australian companies are required to take an active role in accommodating how their staff get to work. This is especially the case for large employers, who may be responsible for a massive portion of the commuter traffic in their area.

Shared mobility is one of the fastest growing solutions for this. By providing shared mobility options, such as carpooling and microtransit (on-demand transport), organisations are taking advantage of a reduction in single occupancy vehicle use.

Companies are also able to improve their parking solutions via shared mobility. Not only do carpooling and transit services decrease the number of parking spaces needed, but the tech used to power them can be leveraged to keep that demand low.

For example, with Liftango’s carpooling software, shared travel is incentivised by discounted or free entry to paid parking facilities. Guaranteed parking spot reservations provide yet more motivation. Benefits like these allow organisations to make their parking accommodations more effective and efficient, without requiring the construction of additional lots or structures.

Making the C.A.S.E. for shared mobility

The concept of shared mobility has emerged from the new framework shaping the future of industry: connected, autonomous, shared, and electrified (CASE). This set of principles is being used to guide developments in many business sectors, with revolutionary results.

Embracing CASE values are helping companies become more profitable, innovative, and efficient. Organisations that look for solutions across all four pillars will be well placed for the times ahead, but shared concepts, especially those related to transport, are making a unique impact on facility costs and employee productivity.

Getting staff to share space within vehicles is a surprisingly effective way for corporations to find the most desirable employees and help them do their best work. This is because shared mobility actually removes many of the commuting problems that compromise staff acquisition and productivity.

Rush-hour traffic has long reigned as one of the top reasons employees show up late to the office. Whenever trouble on the road causes a delay in a worker’s arrival, that’s time and productivity lost. But local traffic congestion drops if an area’s businesses use shared mobility services like carpooling and on-demand busing. With less traffic to fight against, commuters (more now in shared rides) run into fewer opportunities to be late.

Workers who try to avoid traffic by using public transport also run the risk of showing up late. If they miss their bus or train by a mere minute or two, they may have to wait a long time before the next ride is scheduled to arrive. This can lead to drastic productivity losses. Staff who convert to carpooling and other shared mobility options have far more security and flexibility in their commute.

Unfortunately, most traditional forms of commuting can seriously interfere with employee productivity. Whether workers battle traffic on the road, take public transport, or walk to work, all of these methods can tire and stress them out, significantly draining an employee’s physical and mental energy before they even arrive on-site.

In many cases, these tired staff members may not be able to start working until they’ve taken a break to rest. Shared alternatives like carpooling remove stress and exertion from the daily commute, especially with benefits like dedicated parking spaces for carpool drivers.

Finally, shared mobility also opens up the doors to a wider pool of talent. Employers that offer these options enable skilled workers from outer areas to consider positions they normally wouldn’t due to arduous commutes. Reduced local traffic and convenient ride options make traveling to work much more doable for these candidates, many of which are the type companies need to make great strides in their industries.

The optimising effect of shared mobility is proving that embracing shared principles is having a profound influence on the business world.

About the Author

JJ O'Brien

JJ O'Brien


A Chief Marketing Officer that doesn't mind geeking out on a good sci-fi series, loves cooking American-style BBQ and enjoys seeing the positive impact of a well-crafted message.