Public transport

  • Commuting

If your workplace is served by public transport, commuting by bus, train or boat can be an excellent sustainable transport solution.

Light vehicles, including passenger cars, account for about a third of global oil demand and produce about half of all transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. Public transport is an efficient alternative to the car and contributes to significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions (1).

Key facts

1 : 57

One fully occupied bus can replace 57 single-occupant cars (2)

1 : 1500

One fully occupied train can replace up to 1,500 single-occupant cars (3)

37.5g CO2e

Emissions of a public transport bus, compared to:

  • 146.6g CO2 emissions of a passenger car (4)
0gCO2e

Emissions from walking or cycling (5)

Key actions

  • #1 Incentives

    Offer financial incentives such as a public transport rebate (e.g. reimburse 50%).

  • #2 Guarantee ride home

    Guarantee ride home in the case of an unexpected event (eg. up to 5x per year).

  • #3 Premises

    Choose premises close to public transport.

  • #4 Flexibility

    Be flexible or adapt working hours to the arrival times of trains.

  • #5 Municipal encouragement

    Encourage the municipality to improve the public transport network.

  • #6 Partnership

    In areas where no safe public transport is available, consider providing a shuttle service for employees. Partner with other interested organisations in the vicinity. Go for electric and avoid diesel.

To consider

  • Potential co-benefits

    • Reduction of car-related costs
    • Reduction of traffic congestion, stress, air pollution and noise
    • More space to cyclists and pedestrians
  • Success conditions

    • Communication on incentives from the organisation and the authorities

     

  • Prerequisites & specificities

    • Access to public transport near workplace
    • Working hours that fit to public transport schedules
  • Potential risks

    • Subject to the uncertainties of transport (e.g. delays, strikes)
    • Thefts in transportation
    • Safety risks in certain areas
© JC Gellidon/Unsplash.

Success stories

SIG bicycle incentive

Services Industriels de Geneve installed a covered and secured bicycle parking area equipped with ​charging stations powered by photovoltaic panels, provides electric bicycles for business travels in Geneva, and ​subsidies the purchase of a public transport pass in return for giving up the car (6).

Infomaniak soft mobility incentives

50% by public transport or 50% by bike or on foot: bonus of CHF 1’000 per year.

After a few months at Infomaniak, some employees thus abandon their car in favour of public transport or soft mobility (7).

The ICRC soft mobility plan

The ICRC soft mobility plan encourages the use of alternative modes of transport to the car (subsidies for public transport users, carpooling, electrically assisted bikes) (8).

Tools and good practices

To go further

Sources

(1) WWF, Light vehicles. Read here.

(2) WWF, Reducing the impact of commuting, 2017. Read here.

(3) WWF, Reducing the impact of commuting, 2017. Read here.

(4) Stay Grounded, What is the climate impact of aviation? Read here.

(5) Stay Grounded, What is the climate impact of aviation? Read here.

(6) Canton de Genève and Canton de Vaud, Mobility plans: a guide for companies and institutions, 2016. Read here.

(7) Infomaniak, Ecology. Read here.

(8) Canton de Genève and Canton de Vaud, Mobility plans: a guide for companies and institutions, 2016. Read here.

 

Cover photo © JC Gellidon/Unsplash.