Active travel enables people to be more active more often and we know that for those people who are more active in their daily lives, their wellbeing is enhanced and they are happier and healthier.
What if businesses and organisations included e-bikes and e-scooters as transport options in their vehicle fleets and encouraged staff to use them instead of a car?
Our Healthy City Design Lead, Peri Zee seeded this idea with Hutt City Council’s fleet management team. The team went on to explore the various options available and decided to purchase an e-bike and three e-scooters with the intention to buy more if they proved popular with staff.
Hutt City Council staff are encouraged to use the e-bikes and e-scooters for short trips across the city including going to meetings and site visits. To enable staff to feel confident and safe while riding, bike champions have been identified to support less frequent riders with route choice and to help with any other questions. Skills training is also available through Greater Wellington Regional Council’s workplace Pedal Ready programme.
Katie Shaw, Hutt City Council’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Manager supports the project, “Staff wellbeing continues to be a focus. Where we can, we try to implement ways of working that encourages staff to be well. Being outdoors, and getting fresh air is a great example of this, which is why the use of e-bikes and e-scooters is such a great initiative.”
Peri regularly uses one of the work e-bikes to travel between Council offices and says, “Riding the e-bike is often just as fast as taking the car, but more fun. I enjoy riding along the beautiful river trail and seeing the smiles of people I pass.”
Hutt City Council have committed to improving the efficiency of its vehicle fleet and are implementing a range of measures, including switching to Electric Vehicles (EVs) and continuing to look at other active transport options. With e-bikes and e-scooters costing a fraction of the price to purchase and run, they are a healthier and sustainable way to reach climate change goals.