One thing we know for sure is that we do not want to return to a world of daily commuter traffic congestion. There are all kinds of ways we can create the mobility system of the future, such as spreading lesson times and working hours, an innovative public transport system and new ways to travel, such as bike sharing, e-scooters and the use of mobility hubs.
Good accessibility is crucial for the functioning of society and the economy in Brabant. The mobility system of the future requires us to change the way we think and act. The Brabant Crossroads [Kruispunt Brabant] online event brought together representatives from ASML, Avans, Enexis, Jumbo, Brainport Development, VDL groep and the provincial and municipal government. Eric van Schagen, chair of the VNO-NCW Brabant Zeeland employers' federation, shared his vision. "Employers are keen to make agreements about alternative mobility solutions, but then mainly for office workers and without it leading to any extra regulation and red tape.
The key to success
COVID-19 has been a wake-up call for everyone. Hybrid working, a combination of working from home and at the office, also offers opportunities for the future. Christophe van der Maat, who is responsible for mobility at the provincial government of Noord-Brabant adds, "We need to grab the bull by the horns and start making agreements about the future. How can we encourage and make things easier for students and workers once we are all willing and able again to get back to our offices and universities? No-one wants to go back to being stuck in traffic jams every day. Those of us in government, business and education have the capacity to organise things smarter and more sustainably. The provincial government is also a major employer in Brabant, so it's an issue we too are concerned about."
"The reason why is clear," says Paul van Nunen, director of Brainport Development. "There's a lot more to this than simply extra rails, asphalt and cycle paths. Employees want to travel easily and comfortably from regional hubs to campuses and this can be done using innovative public transport systems such as the Brainport Line and the MaaS app. However, this does require a change in behaviour on the part of employees and that's why we need employers to get on board, so that they can encourage employees to use these new systems."
Help for business
Businesses that want to get involved should contact the Brabant Mobility Network [Brabant Mobiliteitsnetwerk] (BMN) for inspiration, support and advice. Kruispunt Brabant is a partnership involving the provincial government of Noord-Brabant, SmartwayZ.NL, Brainport Eindhoven, VNO-NCW Brabant Zeeland and the Brabant Mobility Network.