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Promotion of flexible working hours (and opening hours)

FACT SHEET NO.: Cat-No.8 / Subcat-No.8.1-1


General Information

Title

FACT SHEET NO.: Cat-No.8 / Subcat-No.8.1-1

Category

8. Other

Subcategory

8.1 Alternative commuting solutions

Transport policy measure (TPM)

Promotion of flexible working hours (and opening hours)

Description of TPM

The promotion of flexibility of working time refers to the length and distribution of working time (e.g. flexitime, compressed work week, staggered shifts, etc.). A variety of goals are comprised:
- enterprise competitiveness, to respond to sudden changes in demand, adapt to new technologies and be in a position to innovate constantly;
- family orientated working times, to improve the balance between company and private life;
- education orientated working times, to promote life long learning;
- age orientated working times, to support the extension of gainful activity;
- 'transport' orientated working times, to prevent congestion and support an efficient use of transport services.
In many countries, this kind of policy is applied during parental leave and for parents and carers during a limited period of time; nevertheless, alternative work arrangements for all employees may be introduced also for the purposes mentioned above and are the objective of the TPM under analysis. So far, this approach has been introduced only in a minority of countries. [2][7]

Implementation examples

Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Finland: Legislation on Flexibility / organisation of working time
UK: Oxfordshire County Council / Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Major Projects / Nationwide Building Society
Canada: City of Edmonton / Royal Bank
USA: Southern California Association of Governments / City of Avondale

Objectives of TPM

In a 'transport' orientated view, the TPM aims at reducing congestion (at least spreading the traffic over a longer period of time around peak periods), and promote an efficient use of public transport services. [4] [7]
From a social point of view, the objective is mainly to improve the balance between company and private life, in the view of increasing quality of life. [4][7][8]
From the employer point of view, the TPM might increase productivity and competitiveness. [4][8]

Choice of transport mode / Multimodality

Possible change, depending on availability and choice during the selected time period [5] [6] [7]

Origin and/or destination of trip

No major change

Trip frequency

Possible change, depending on the possibility of 'compressed working week' [4] [7] [8]

Choice of route

Possible change, depending on choice during the selected time period

Timing (day, hour)

Major changes [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

Occupancy rate / Loading factor

Possible change, depending on choice during the selected time period. Both on private and public transport modes. [4] [8]

Energy efficiency / Energy usage

Possible change, depending on mode choice during the selected time period

Main source

[1] EC DG EMPL (2009): Flexible working time arrangements and gender equality - A comparative review of 30 European countries
[2] House of Commons All-Party Parliamentary Small Business Group (2009): Flexible Working: Challenges for Business, UK
[3] A. Ilsøe (2009): Decentralisation of working hours in Denmark – a win-win situation for employers and employees?, DK
[4] EPA (1998): Transportation Control Measures: Work Schedule Changes, USA
[5] Ministerie van Verkeer en Waterstaat (2006): Nota Mobiliteit. Deel IV - Na parlementaire behandeling vastgestelde PKB, NL
[6] Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Milieu (2011): Ontwerp Structuurvisie Infrastructuur en Ruimte, Den Haag, NL
[7] Victoria Transport Policy Institute, Alternative Work Schedules (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm15.htm), CA
[8] Transport for London (2011): Smarter Working guide, London (UK)

Traffic Impacts

Passengers 

         

Transport operators 

           

Unassigned 

         

Travel or transport time

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Risk of congestion

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Vehicle mileage

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Service and comfort

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Overall impacts on social groups

Reduced stress related to congestion or crowded public transport modes, mainly during peak hour. Change of distribution of trips during the day. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

Implementation phase

Operation phase

Summary / comments concerning the main impacts

- less congestion and reduced transport time for road transport, mainly during peak hour [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]
- change of distribution of trips during the day, depending on the individual working schedule [3] [4] [7] [8]
- possible mode shift resulting from different time distribution and congestion level: from private to public (if less crowded) or from public to private (if significant less congestion and PT service not adequate) [5] [7]
- indirectly road freight transport might benefit from less congestion and reduced transport time
- Compressed Work Weeks may provide modest reductions in total vehicle travel, because participants make additional trips during their non-work days [4] [7]
- public transport service might need to be adjusted according to the new distribution of trips during the day (smooth peak hour service, improvement during off-peak)

Quantification of impacts

total vehicle-miles (work and non-work trips) decreased by 15% in Denver, Peak period travel time was reduced up to 18% in Honolulu [4], automobile commutes reduced by 7-10% (CUTR), vehicle-miles reduced by 0.6% and vehicle trips by 0.5% (Apogee) [7];

Economic Impacts

Passengers 

         

Transport operators 

           

Unassigned 

         

Transport costs

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Private income / commercial turn over

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Revenues in the transport sector

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sectoral competitiveness

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Spatial competitiveness

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Housing expenditures

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Insurance costs

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Health service costs

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Public authorities & adm. burdens on businesses

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Public income (e.g.: taxes, charges)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Third countries and international relations

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Overall impacts on social groups

Implementation phase

Operation phase

Summary / comments concerning the main impacts

- public transport operators might face a slight increase of cost due to the adjustment of the service during the day;
- revenues for public transport operator might be slightly affected, depending on mode choice;
- competitiveness of enterprise might be increased, responding to sudden changes in demand, adapting to new technologies and innovating [4] [5] [8]
- possible saving of car operation and maintenance costs, in case of reduced use (Compressed Work Week or as consequence of mode shift) [4] [5] [6] [7]
- possible additional cost for employers: Time must be spent planning the program and explaining it to employees, Increased security and utilityexpenses should be considered if the building’s operating hours are extended. Additionally, there are potential costs associated with the disruption of work because some employees are unavailable. [4]

Quantification of impacts


Social Impacts
Environmental Impacts

Passengers 

         

Transport operators 

           

Unassigned 

         

Air pollutants

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Noise emissions

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Visual quality of the landscape

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Land use

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Climate

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Renewable or non-renewable resources

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Overall impacts on social groups

impacts on air pollution [4] [7] [8], climate change [8] and noise emission

Implementation phase

Operation phase

Summary / comments concerning the main impacts

- Positive impacts might be obtained in terms of reduced pollutant emissions, GHG emissions and noise at local level. Nevertheless, the environmental benefits strongly depend on the number of people involved and switching between modes of transport. The reallocation of traffic will reduce impact during peak hours, but increase impact during other parts of the day: therefore, the 'net' effect is probably unclear (as reported in the table).

Quantification of impacts

-1.9% of CO emissions if 20% of employees involved in Phoenix, - 16% of average CO and HC emissions in Denver [4]

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