Our colleague Rob Hanusa is now in his second year using a mobility budget. We asked him how this is going, and how he organizes his commutes.
How are you commuting?
On the days I go to the office (which are fewer now because of Covid), I take the train and my folding bike. I’m fortunate to live near to a station, and once I get to my destination it’s an 8km bike ride to the office. Most of the ride is on a bike path along a canal, so it’s normally quite enjoyable.
What is your main reason to choose a mobility budget over a company car?
I live in a city where having a car would not be particularly convenient. I already feel well connected by public transit, and I don’t have my own parking space anyway. Additionally, commuting to the office in traffic with a car wouldn’t be much quicker than my current train + bike commute. I also enjoy the extra bit of exercise I get with the bike.
Can you think of any improvements that could be made to the mobility budget to appeal to more colleagues?
The mobility budget works fantastically for me because of my living and commuting situations, so it’s hard to think of anything that needs to be improved. The financial benefits are great and I don’t feel I sacrifice much by not having a car. However, I realize that others may be in different circumstances that make biking and public transportation less practical. Nevertheless, I would suggest to anyone who can to try commuting by bike and public transit. For six years in my early career I was a daily car commuter, and I much prefer my current commute!
Which advantages of the mobility budget would you mention to convince a colleague to trade in his / her company car?
The mobility budget can be used for so much—not only public transit, but also car rentals and bike gear (and in some cases, your monthly rent!) The broad scope makes it quite easy to use. And if you don’t use the whole budget, any remaining part is paid back to you at the end of the year, albeit after some taxes. Considering that train passes are relatively cheap compared to a car, the remaining budget can add up to quite a sum!