The future of mobility - Klaas Pieter Roemeling (19950127)

The future of mobility - Klaas Pieter Roemeling (19950127)

From working from home to being stuck in a traffic jam again, but in an electric car. We can hardly imagine being in traffic jams again to get to the office, and getting in line at the end of the day to exit the office carpark on our way home.

Before the pandemic, we all traveled 185 billion kilometers a year in The Netherlands. 75% of this we did by car, the other 25% divided over train, bicycle, bus and on foot. The trend was and will soon be that we will travel more and more. It is expected that in 2030 we will travel between 15 and 30% more than before the pandemic. Trends such as urbanization, increasing population, more vital and wealthy elderly people and better means of transport are the main causes of this growth. 

If we travel 15 to 30% more compared to the pre-corona times, this cannot be done in the same fashion as we do things now. Traffic delays will only get worse in the future. Also in public transport, buses and train sections will be overflowing with commuters during rush hours. In short, the capacity of our road network and public transport is reaching its maximum. If we therefore want to continue to travel somewhat comfortably and affordably in the future, the traveler will have to become flexible in his/her travel behavior. In addition to the traffic congestion, we as The Netherlands (as well as the rest of the world) have the common goal of significantly reducing CO2 emissions. Traffic must make an important contribution to this. In fact, this means a double task, because without additional measures, the increase in CO2 emissions will be unmistakable.

In order to keep The Netherlands accessible and liveable in the future, the government has formulated clear climate objectives to reduce CO2 emissions. In this she reserves an important role for employers. Not surprising, given that more than half of all road kilometers in passenger transport are work-related. The basic principles are to travel cleaner (less emissions per kilometer), less (fewer kilometers, more working from home) or differently (using other modalities). It is my ambition to have The (working) Netherlands embrace and facilitate this change.


This is possible by responding to the following trends:

Electrification and multimodal travel

We believe that in absolute terms the number of car kilometers will increase in the future, but will decrease in relative terms. The car will always remain the go-to modality for the vast majority of travelers. However, we are increasingly going to combine it with public transport, the electric bicycle and shared transport. More and more employers are responding to these trends to establish the electric car and/or hybrid as the new lease car standard, combined with a solution for multimodal travel. For example, the employee has the freedom and space to opt for public transport in combination with shared mobility for the 'last mile' when traveling to busy cities (with a lot of congestion and parking problems). Fortunately, multimodal travel usually also means more sustainable travel. We all do not always realize this, but it is the reality.


Pay according to use

The trend towards flexibility makes “owning” a car or a train subscription less necessary and less self-evident. Especially for people who live in the big cities, owning a car can more often be a burden than a pleasure, partly due to the discouraging policies in place. Then why own a car, if you are offered several shared cars within a radius of 250m via an app on your phone? Why a train subscription that is no longer financially attractive, because you only go to the office three days a week? The latest plans for road pricing are therefore also supported by more and more political parties.


Working from home more often, no more fixed travel allowance

The government is also increasingly encouraging working people in The Netherlands to consider whether you should travel, and wants to permanently encourage working from home to which we are now accustomed. That is why the fixed travel allowance for companies will change as of July 1st 2021. In that case, as an employer, you may only provide a fixed travel allowance free of tax if an employee travels at least 60 percent to his/her workplace.

Our contribution is to provide the solution of total flexibility for employees: all door-to-door transport within reach. As far as we are concerned, the threshold for opting for sustainable means of transport should be as low as possible. Taking a train, taking a shared car or bicycle, filling or loading your tank: it is all possible. Of course, at our company we all travel multimodally and 75% of our cars are already electric. Change, of course, starts with yourself.

Klaas Pieter Roemeling (19950127), Director Shuttel

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