Initial findings from a mobility hub trial at Imperial College London have indicated that access to such a facility at work can encourage employees to use active and shared travel options more often for commuting and business travel.

The trial, held in partnership with rental company Enterprise and Brompton Bike Hire, took place at Imperial’s South Kensington campus, and featured two Enterprise Car Club vehicles – one battery-electric, and one hydrogen-powered – along with 25 bicycles.

Employees were offered free access to one of these transport options as an alternative to their own vehicle, with bookings of both cars and bicycles through the Enterprise Car Club app.

It led to an increase in the total number of journeys made by bicycle (52%), and also other methods of active travel overall (65%), with 38% of employees saying that knowing they could access a car club vehicle at work if they needed it made it easier to consider commuting by bike. 

Imperial research student Jonny Jackson said: “This is the first field trial that explores the real-world impact of mobility hubs on how people commute to work, and how they travel while at work.

“It indicates there is significant employee support for more active and sustainable modes of travel, as long as people have the security of access to a car or a bike when they really need one for a journey. 

“We were especially interested to observe that many of those taking part in the trial were planning to continue to commute by bike or another active travel mode, and that they were open to paying for car club usage on campus.”

Enterprise vice president for mobility for Europe Ben Lawson said: “This trial provides us with the first data-led evidence that workplace mobility hubs can encourage shared and active travel among employees, both for business trips and the commute.

“We already have examples such as Highland Council showing the impact of employee car clubs on achieving more sustainable travel behaviours, which was included as a best practice example in the government’s recent Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

“Providing more active and zero-emission transport options can help organisations to guide their employees to the most sustainable travel choice and encourage them to leave a higher-emission privately-owned car at home. It is another example of how transport hubs that provide a range of zero-emission shared options for employee travel can shape a better future mobility ecosystem.”