- Less CO2 enters the atmosphere as traffic jams decrease
- MST developed a system to get more employees to bike to work
- MST gets to hold the title “Spitsbreker van het jaar” for a year
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A year ago, BNR news radio started the Spitsbrekers (“rush hour breakers”) project to look for smart, inspiring initiatives by companies to bypass traffic jams. After the selection of ten nominated companies at the end of last year, five finalists remained in May: Arcadis, Funding Circle Nederland, Medisch Spectrum Twente, True Legends and Vodafone/Ziggo.
MST competed with its ‘biking reward system’ that has been in place for around six years. The system is quite straightforward: a tag is installed in the employees’ bicycle wheel and scanned at the entrance of the bicycle shed. Every time employees bike to work, they get points based on the distance they biked: bikies. Those points can be redeemed at the local bicycle dealer to get a discount on products and repairs or a down payment for a new bicycle. More than 2100 of the 3500 employees are already taking part in the program. In the coming period, the hospital wants to encourage hundreds of additional employees to participate. The great value proposition of the system is that employees are not forced to choose between taking the car or the bike to work. Employees know that they are rewarded for taking the bike and that they must pay parking costs if they come by car.
The jury declared the bicycle reward system as Spitsbreker of the year because of the large regional impact. “Medisch Spectrum Twente inspires several institutions in the Netherlands to let staff travel differently. Among those institutions are other hospitals. The mobility policy at the MST was introduced six years ago and has been consistently implemented. The bicycle reward system is inexpensive while creating a great impact,” according to the jury.
MST hopes that even more people in Twente will decide to bike to work. Despite the traffic jams being less intense compared to the west of the Netherlands, Twente still has to deal with them. Every car substituted for a bike helps. Gerrit van der Kolk, an employment conditions consultant, is happy to spread the MST initiative and is happy to explain the system to organisations that also want to motivate employees to bike to work. He can be reached at email@example.com.