Making mobility fun and accessible, that’s what it’s all about.
With over 600 members, ORAM is the biggest business network and interest group in the Amsterdam metropolitan region. Together with businesses, we focus on topical issues, such as ways to promote the economy, the energy transition and mobility. As regards the latter, good accessibility for the city and the region is obviously essential for the Amsterdam business community.
The speaker is Menno van der Valk, Manager Operations at ORAM, a seasoned multimodal traveller and enthusiastic user of the XXImo Mobility Card.
Menno: “Contact with our members, making connections and finding common ground are key, that’s what my daily work involves. Through long-term cooperation, we can achieve a lot at the regional level.
Our joint efforts in the field of mobility are aimed at making the city and the region more accessible, reducing congestion, ensuring reliable public transport and better utilising existing capacity. To that end, we have initiated multiple programmes and projects. This is also how I came into contact with XXImo. ORAM employees travel with the XXImo mobility card. We use it for commuting and business travel.”
ORAM started using the mobility card for travel around three years ago. There were several reasons for doing so. Menno: “First of all, we wanted to organise mobility for our employees centrally. Without hassle and with all the costs on a single invoice. On top of that, good employership is important – we want to give our people the opportunity to choose how they travel.
Of course we also want to set a good example and take responsibility for our own choices. Given that we are working to improve accessibility in Amsterdam every day, we have to be critical about our own travel behaviour and encourage the use of public transport. We travel all over the Amsterdam region for our work – we spend a lot of time on the road. The mobility card makes travel efficient and easy.”
“Our office is within walking distance of Central Station. When I look out of the window, I can see lots of forms of mobility: bus, tram, train, bicycle, scooter and taxi. There is a wide offering available here, all much more convenient and quicker than driving around the city centre in your own car.”
Take me as an example. I practically never use my own car to travel on business any more. I use public transport, shared bicycles (OV-fiets), various shared cars, scooters and taxis. I am a real multimodal traveller. I actually decide how I travel from day to day: I check what is going to be the most convenient option shortly before leaving, depending on which modes of transport are available. Because I now use a wide range of different modes of transport to travel on business and privately, I consider myself something of an expert, Menno relates enthusiastically.
It is clear that Menno is comfortable finding his way through the multimodal mobility landscape, but that is not yet true for everyone. How to get people enthusiastic and make them feel comfortable about using the new options available? Menno has some tips. “If you ask me, it’s a matter of trying out different forms of mobility and experiencing them for yourself. Be curious. Try taking a shared car, bike or electric scooter. These days, it’s easy to check the availability in an app and they are becoming ever simpler to use. The more new suppliers there are, the more attractive it becomes. I also enjoy trying out new things. These days there are so many options, it’s a shame not to make use of them.”
My advice to businesses is, make mobility fun and accessible for employees. Let them decide for themselves how they want to travel and encourage the desired travel behaviour. Get them excited about it and don’t set too many rules about what they are and are not allowed to do. In order to bring about a change in behaviour – because that is what travelling differently involves – a positive approach is crucial. It yields by far the best results. Companies really don’t have to saddle themselves with excessive costs, because they can set a travel budget for employees and so keep a grip on costs
"The mobility card works well and takes care of all the organisation’s needs. But the human factor is also very important to Menno. “Our partnership with XXImo is very smooth, I know the people there well. I even drop into their office in Utrecht occasionally. Of course they help us with all operational matters, but we also talk about plans, issues and developments in the market. That sense of connection on both sides is really important.”