Are your employees showing up to work angry because of their commute? Are they desperate to leave at the end of the day due to the long journey ahead? While most people simply complain about the frustrations of travelling to work, other people think they’ve found the solution.
An office on wheels
The Flanders Institute for Mobility (VIM) is launching a pilot project involving a so-called office on wheels. Since research shows that 30% of the Belgian working population spends more than 30 minutes commuting to or from work, the VIM decided to look into making better use of this time.
“What if we could spend that time in a useful manner, by doing our office job while we’re commuting?” the institute wonders in a press release.
The solution? A commuter bus equipped with the same technology as the office.
A prototype of the office on wheels will be used to run a pilot project for six months, starting in September. During the test period, the bus will be actively used and mostly drive to business parks that are difficult, or even impossible to reach by public transport. The office bus will follow a daily predetermined route.
“As soon as an employee gets on the bus, his workday begins, because the bus offers the same facilities as a standard office”, the VIM explains. “Thanks to a perfect network connection, the employees can get to their documents in the cloud or even log on to the office server”.
The project initiators aim to investigate how feasible the concept of an office bus is. If the pilot proves successful, they hope to use the gathered data to develop a working business model.
Build your own plane
A 45-year Czech locksmith got so tired of his daily commute by car, he decided to take matters into his own hands. Although the drive only took him 12 to 14 minutes, Frantisek Hadrava figured there had to be a faster, more enjoyable way to get to work.
Now, he commutes by plane.
The journey, flying through the Sumava Mountains, takes him about 7 minutes, cutting his commuting time in half. “It would take around 4-5 minutes if I flew directly, but I take a bit of a detour so that I don’t disturb people early in the morning”, Hadrava told Reuters.
The plane, ultralight with an open cockpit and a top speed of 146 km/h, was built by Hadrava himself. It took two years of his spare time and cost about € 3,700 (HK$ 32057) to build.
Hop on a gondola
In La Paz, Bolivia, commuters can travel to work suspended in the air above the city. Two years ago, the first line of a gondola system opened up, connecting La Paz to the city of El Alto. For a lot of people, what used to be an uncomfortable two-hour bus journey is now an enjoyable gondola ride half that time.
The Mi Teleférico was introduced as an alternative to the often traffic-clogged roads winding their way up and down the mountains. The suspended transport system is much better able to cope with the 2,000-foot height difference between the two cities.
So far, the system has facilitated close to 50 million rides. By 2019, the system will have 10 different lines serving 27 stations. Similarly to Hong Kong’s MTR system, commuters can get on at any station, with gondolas leaving about every 10 seconds btween 6:30 am and 11:30 pm.
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