Transport Finland is exploring an environmentally friendly alternative to the dominance of company cars – a tax-free movement account of EUR 3,400 is proposed as a solution

Transport operators are proposing a mobility account as a new employment benefit, which would bring new forms of mobility within the scope of employment benefits.

Government is committed to halving transport emissions from 2005 levels by 2030. Mobility service company MaaS Global believes that achieving this goal will require a significant change in mobility as well as a shift from private cars to more sustainable choices.

As a solution, MaaS Global presents a new employee benefit with 125 industry players, the so-called mobility account.

“It would be possible to include public transport in the account or, alternatively, to combine public transport with a business trip ticket. In that case, however, the tax-free maximum amount of the benefits would be a total of EUR 3,400. The bicycle benefit would be included as part of the mobility account, ”the presentation reads.

According to the proposal, employment benefits are a strong way of controlling the mobility of Finns and enable employers to support sustainable mobility and reduce the carbon footprint of their personnel.

Read more: A company car is an advantage for high-income people in Finland, and it is reflected in car prices: “No small city cars are purchased as company cars” – this is how the car benefit is used in your area

Performance coordinating MaaS Global is best known for its Whim mobility app, launched in November 2017, which combines public transportation, taxi rides, city bikes and rental cars into monthly package packages.

Read more: Mobility service Whim received nearly 30 million pots from funders and is looking to expand globally

In addition, the presentation will involve more than 125 industry players, including Voi, Tier, 24Rent, Vapaus, Juro Bikes and the ITS Finland intelligent transport cooperation forum. NCC, Siemens Mobility, Nokia and Pyöräliitto, among others, are the backers of the performance.

Regional Director of MaaS Global Jarkko Jaakkola According to him, employment benefits do not currently take into account the wide range of mobility services, such as car distribution services, electric kickboards, ride-on services or other new mobility services. According to Jaakkola, employers currently have very limited options for providing employment benefits related to mobility: a company car or bicycle or an employee benefit for public transport.

“There’s a terrible gap left for a service that could replace private motoring. Very few feel that any single mode of transport could fully replace the use of a private car. It should come with a service package that offers an alternative to a company or private car. ”

Executive Director of ITS Finland Marko Forsblomin According to Finland, it has been considered for a very long time how to develop interoperable and smooth door-to-door mobility services in order to have more alternatives for private cars.

“In order for transport services to be as user-friendly as possible for the end user, they must also be able to be provided cost-effectively. Good work has already been done with the public transport employment ticket, but other mobility services such as electric kickboards and shared cars are excluded. In order to make door-to-door travel chains as good as possible, other modes of transport are also needed to support public transport. A mobility account would be a good tool for that, ”Forsblom commented.

According to Forsblom, a mobility account would allow employers to offer employees something other than a company car as an alternative to mobility and thereby increase the use of public transport and sustainable mobility services.

“Corporate responsibility has been a big theme in recent years. In the transport sector, emission reductions and participation in climate talks are constantly being considered. In other areas, however, it seems that it has been easier to meet emission targets. In the transport sector, there has been little reduction in emissions over the last 20 years due to increased mobility, although on average vehicles are less polluting than before. The electrification of transport will certainly help, but there is also a need to move towards sustainable mobility. ”

Coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on people ‘s mobility needs as commuting to the office has decreased and many otherwise avoid congested means of transport. Although society is already slowly opening up, it is possible that concerns about infections will be reflected in people’s behavior for a long time to come. MaaS Global’s Jaakkola believes that the introduction of a mobility account is especially important for the transport sector in terms of recovering from a coronavirus pandemic.

“For example, public transport has suffered a great deal from a pandemic. When it is part of such a package of services, people can be lured back into public transport so that people do not switch to private cars when they start moving again. Such a turning point is often a good time to make people think about how to move, ”says Jaakkola.

The aim of the motion is to gain political approval for the preparation of the movement account at mid-term. Another goal is the introduction of a mobility account from 2022. The proposal has been discussed with all government parties, and the reception has been positive, according to Jaakkola.

According to the proposal, the budgetary impact of the account consists mainly of moderate losses in tax revenues, but offsets emissions down very cost-effectively. Thus, according to the proposal, the account would involve only a very small risk, because even if people did not adopt it, the state and municipalities would not lose tax revenue either.

Transport is a large market and is the second largest household item of expenditure after housing. Forsblom would believe that the mobility account would increase competition in the industry and attract more players.

“There’s a lot of money moving in traffic, at the moment it’s mainly going to private cars. The market is so large that it attracts new companies, business models and modes of transport. For the end user, a mobility account would offer a completely new and cheaper service package. It would be better to develop new attractive alternatives than to penalize private cars. ”

Similar employee benefits have also been introduced worldwide. In France, for example, a new sustainable mobility package was launched in spring 2020, which allows employers to support mobility by bike, carpool, electric kickboard or shared car, among other things.

In Belgium, on the other hand, there is a movement account where an employee can use the amount of money going to a company car, for example for a public transport ticket, a ride-sharing service, an electric bicycle or various combinations of these options. In addition to these two countries, mobility account models are currently being studied and clarified in Germany and England.

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