The A to B of mobility

Mobility transport
Mobility transport

Mobility is the term used to describe the movement of people and goods from A to B with non-traditional transport methods. It’s been a bit of a buzzword in the fleet industry and government organisations for several years now, as population density continues to increase and clever technology has allowed different forms of transport to integrate.

Driving is the traditional default for most employers and employees when they need to travel for work.

Embracing mobility means that management and staff will need to develop a different mindset in terms of transport and consider what the most cost-effective option is for the journey.

Cost isn’t the only factor, though. Time is also a valuable commodity in business. With limited hours in a day, it’s not only about how much time you use but how effectively you use it. A car might be a quick option but not necessarily the most productive one.

Mobility in practice

Think about your pre-COVID holiday plans. If you were planning an overseas trip, you might take a taxi from your house to the airport, a plane to your destination, a train/bus to your hotel, and then use a rental car to explore the country.

Each leg of the journey would be taken using the most cost-effective and/or efficient mode of transport. This is mobility in practice.

While businesses have traditionally bought company cars to move people and vans or trucks to transport goods, this really only makes economic sense when the vehicle is being used five or six days a week.

If this isn’t the case, then you might save some money by developing a mobility model for your organisation that categorises the trip by destination, distance, and frequency.

Let’s take a look at some types of mobility:

Short trips

Public transport is used by employees to get to and from work, but not many businesses use this as an option for work-related trips. The exception is trips into the city, where public transport makes more sense, due to the multiple options available and the high cost of parking in the CBD.

Other, more comfortable options for short trips are taxis or rideshares. These are more direct than public transport and allow an employee to be productive on the journey. With apps for booking and email invoices, they’re designed to keep businesses moving with ease and convenience.

Longer trips

Carshares are a great option for businesses embracing mobility. This is a type of share fleet for small businesses and consumers. Technology allows the sharing of cars by the hour or by the day, which suits trips across suburbs where public transport may not be readily available.

The hourly carshare rate might initially seem expensive, but in the long run proves more economical than owning a car and using it only 50% of the time. Most providers also have vans available for moving goods.

Regular trips

If you know you’ll need a car for six months and don’t have the cash flow to buy one, a car subscription might work well for your business. This model fits somewhere between car rental and car ownership. Most providers offer flexible terms and 30-day cancellations. The monthly cost is similar to ownership but without the commitment.

A grey fleet is another way organisations are keeping their employees mobile without the ongoing liability of asset ownership. A grey fleet is where employees use their personal vehicles for business travel and are reimbursed for the cost. This model is popular with charities and start-ups.

The concept of mobility challenges the car as an under-utilised asset. In embracing this approach to moving people and goods, businesses can cut costs and become more responsive to changes in economic conditions by having multiple options for getting from A to B.

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