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Making mobility the main theme

Alpstar wishes to motivate employees to cycle to work. © bike to work

Why do most of those working in the Alpine Rhine Valley drive to work in their own cars - despite excellent cycle ways and a good public transport network? The Alpstar partners in Liechtenstein, St. Gallen and Vorarlberg investigate.
More than half of all employees in Liechtenstein commute there from Switzerland, Austria or Germany. Many live in areas close to the border, meaning that they could easily cycle to work, or they have a bus or train station nearby. Most nevertheless drive to work in their own cars. This is also the case at the Hilti company, one of the largest employers in the country. Over 900 of its approximately 1,500 staff working in Schaan, Liechtenstein, live within 16 km of their place of work which - especially in the era of e-bikes - is surely a reasonable cycling distance.
This is now all to change. Hilti is therefore participating in the Alpstar Alpine Space Project as a "model case" in collaboration with the commuter localities of Buchs and Feldkirch. The pilot regions of Liechtenstein, St. Gallen and Vorarlberg are together demonstrating how commuters can be induced to switch to using bikes or public transport. The activities are being co-ordinated by CIPRA International and the Energy Institute Vorarlberg.
Daniel Oehry, Mobility Representative at Hilti, hopes that these activities will significantly increase the number of cyclists. The people involved are themselves developing ideas for the project: focus groups consisting of cyclists, public transport users and Hilti staff who are prepared to make the change have all looked at their mobility habits and come up with suggestions for improvements. One clear observation was that mobility must become a central theme in the company. As a start, therefore, a mobility event was held at Hilti that lasted several days.
Since leisure cycle paths are of only limited use for commuters, the Alpstar partners also developed a digital bike map which is also available to other commuters in the region. Having studied cycling, in autumn the Alpstar partners will be turning their attention to public transport.
Sources and further information: www.cipra.org/en/climate-projects/alpstar , www.alpstar-project.eu, www.radwege.llv.li (de)