Quickly reach Eindhoven Airport by bikePublished on October 21, 2022
You can't ignore it: the shiny new bicycle shed in the P1 parking garage of Eindhoven Airport. That's no coincidence. The airport is working on its accessibility. Encouraging bicycle use is part of this.
'Travellers who drag their suitcase behind their bicycle? No, I don't see that happening either!', laughs Jaap Verheijen. 'But a total of about 1,500 people work here. And we would like to encourage the use of the bicycle among that target group. To keep the airport and the region accessible, for sustainable accessibility and vitality of employees.'
Pressure is increasing
As Parking & Mobility Services manager, Jaap Verheijen is responsible for the landside accessibility of Eindhoven Airport. 'I'm concerned with how people get to the airport. Passengers and employees. Such as my 75 colleagues at Eindhoven Airport NV, but also people who work at the airport through all kinds of partners. In the catering industry, retail or security, for example. And of course the airline staff.' Until now, all those people have been able to easily reach the airport by car and park there. 'But we have to take a critical look at how we use our scarce space. In addition, traffic jams are increasing, including on the roads around us. Moreover, as employers we have a joint social task here to work on vitality and sustainability.'
So something has to be done. 'Car accessibility remains an important pillar for the airport. Passengers continue to find us, especially with good car accessibility. This has everything to do with the fact that we are not the end goal, we are a stopover between the front door and the final destination. We only facilitate the transition from land to air. The car gives people the most emotional control. Eindhoven Airport is closely involved in developments in the area and invests in the road network in close collaboration with the municipality. A new road design, more capacity, better flow, smarter traffic lights. We are also making our parking lots more sustainable, for example we recently deliberately purchased a second-hand parking garage. But the step from car to public transport also remains a very important spearhead. But that together is not enough.'
Research as a basis
That is why Jaap wants to persuade some employees through employers to use the bicycle more. 'Many employees have to be at the airport before it gets light. Of course there will be parking space for that. But employees who go to work later can easily take the bike. Only: as Eindhoven Airport NV we are not responsible for all those employees. They are employed by other companies. These companies have their own (mobility) policy and remuneration. We just want to discuss it. We did not make this decision overnight. We looked for partners such as the Brabant Mobility Network and conducted research with them. Such as a zip code survey: who lives close enough to cycle? But also interviews with airport employees and a mass survey. As it turned out, almost half of the employees live within 15 kilometers of the airport. Most of them even within 10 kilometers. We really want to get started on that seriously now.'
Good facilities are a prerequisite
Jaap therefore created a policy for sustainable and vital accessibility. 'Aimed at optimally facilitating employers. So that they can encourage their employees to take their bicycle. That starts with excellent facilities. We believed that we first had to get the facilities in order before asking employees to change their behavior. Hence the bicycle shed in plain sight. There are two more like this. With repair columns for simpler actions such as patching a tire, bicycle pumps and a range of bicycle repair kits. In addition, we have arranged sufficient capacity for shared bicycles and shared scooters together with providers. At the same time, the new policy also includes different rates for parking. No more standard rental agreements at far too low rates, but will charge the use of parking spaces. In other words: we charge every time an employee enters and exits. This will not result in significant price increases, but we will make parking an interesting item in employers' budgets. A knob that they can turn themselves, but possibly we can too.'
Now it's just a matter of convincing the community further, Jaap emphasizes. 'We are setting up events and an incentive program for this together with the mobility broker from the area. For example, with bicycle repair shops who provide explanations, organize fun things around cycling, apps that challenge people, try-out campaigns. But we also help employers create policy. We look along: where is resistance among your employees, how can we remove it? What can we do to help you? Demos of electric bicycles? Discount codes? Scooters to try? We'll get to work on it! In this way we make it easier for employers and their employees. And together we can choose the nice, sustainable solution more often. The bicycle!'