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Aviation professionals taking a more responsible approach to travelling on land

How do we put a stop to the ratio of one employee to one car when commuting, with its devastating effects on the planet and for workers? Under the COMMUTE project, Toulouse Métropole —the European aviation capital— along with major players from the aviation industry, including Airbus and ATR, are taking action to encourage workers to change their commuting habits.

All over the world, metropolitan areas face congestion on their roads during rush hour, causing air pollution and worker stress. Toulouse Métropole, Europe’s leading aeronautical hub representing 85,000 jobs directly related to the sector, is no exception: every day 265,000 work-related trips are made in its airport area, taking all modes of transportation into account. Seven times out of ten, the trip is made alone, by car.

To resolve the issue, the metropolitan area, its urban transport network Tisséo and the major players in the airport area —including Airbus, ATR, Toulouse-Blagnac airport, Safran and Sopra Steria— have committed to a collaborative urban-mobility management system. This exemplary public-private project is supported by European funding and bears the code name: COMMUTE (COllaborative Mobility Management for Urban Traffic and Emissions reduction).

The first practical implementation was the deployment of the Karos application in September 2018. This inter-company car-sharing solution aims to revolutionise home-work journeys for thousands of employees in this aeronautical hub, by reducing the number of vehicles on the road. In just a couple of clicks, the flexible and user-friendly Karos application provides access to optimised routes for the home-work journey, either using carpooling alone, or in conjunction with public transportation. And all at unbeatable prices: it costs €1.70 for a journey up to 25 km and then €0.10 for each additional kilometer, but it is free for all those who have urban transportation travel passes. The driver receives at least €2 for each carpool journey.

Nudging commuting habits in the right direction

An extensive awareness campaign directed at the employees of companies involved has been launched with a unique slogan: “Changer sa mobilité, on a tous à y gagner” [Changing the commute for a win-win solution]. The COMMUTE project uses nudges, a new technique inspired by behavioral psychology that aims to gently change habits, to put an end to the one-employee-per-car scenario. How? By guiding current practices toward existing alternatives, such as cycling and/or public transportation, but also by proposing new attractive, collaborative and convivial solutions, such as the Karos application. The COMMUTE project communication campaign was launched in September 2019 among all employees from participating companies, through a bike ride and picnic followed by public-transportation themed events. It is due to continue with the production of videos inciting a change in commuting habits, with casting already underway among employees.

What about ATR?

At ATR, the mobility plan has been an integral part of the company’s CSR policy for several years, with economic, social and environmental objectives. The aim is to rise to the challenges of sustainable development, improve working conditions for employees and help them to cut the cost of their commute. In this context, ATR has taken a number of proactive measures to promote virtuous business travel. This includes the deployment of a fleet of electric company cars and the installation of free-access electric-vehicle chargers. The company is also closely involved in the COMMUTE project, and the first actions are already delivering results. So far, the 223 ATR carpoolers registered with the Karos application have traveled almost 35,000 km in 18 months, saving around 5 metric tons in CO2 emissions, for an altogether more convivial commute.

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