Partner Success Stories

Smarter Travel Workplaces is working with a range of large Partner organisations, in both the public and private sector, to develop and implement workplace travel plans.

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Mater Misericordiae University Hospital

“The redevelopment of the Mater Campus commenced in 2009 on the site of the existing car park that served staff, patients and visitors.   Prior to the redevelopment of the Mater Campus the hospital recognized the need for developing a strategy focusing on travel alternatives, be it public transport, carsharing, walking or cycling. The hospital adopted a strategic approach to reduce the number of cars accessing the site and a Travel Plan was put in place to address car reliance and parking.

A sustainable, innovative and pre-emptive approach to addressing site access, parking, congestion and car-dependency was adopted whilst simultaneously promoting sustainable travel to staff, patients and visitors.  Instead of looking to increase car parking provision indefinitely to satisfy demand, they sought to address demand and car usage itself through travel behaviour change and planning for alternatives.


The hospital established a unique service in the form of a Commuter Centre – a one-stop-shop for information and services on traveling to and from the hospital.  Working closely with internal and external stakeholders the Commuter Centre focused on introducing practical measures to promote sustainable transport and reducing car usage.

The measures implemented have included:

  • Commuter Centre set up in high footfall area to serve as one-stop-shop for the Travel Plan’s activities and services.
  • Internal brand ‘Travelways’ created to broaden awareness of Travel Planning.
  • Significant increase in parking charges – €1800 per annum or €15 per day for staff.  General public €3 per hour up to a maximum of €15.
  • The hospital adopted the policy that the cost of parking should reflect the cost of providing it.
  • Information on the Travel Plan and Travelways services integrated into staff induction programmes to reduce driving at the outset by new recruits.
  • The Taxsaver Ticket Scheme actively promoted through roadshows, posters, emails, competitions and information points around the hospital.
  • Information of the Travel Plan and commuting to the hospital included in information pack to new recruits in the form of a convenient pocket guide.
  • Bespoke maps and information on all transport modes available on Mater website.
  • Information on accessing the hospital on patient appointment letters, appointment cards, patient information booklet and Mater website.
  • Realtime information screens for buses and Luas services located at main hospital entrances.
  • Provision of Dublin Bikes station on the Mater Campus.
  • Carshare scheme and guaranteed parking onsite for drivers who carshare
  • Significant increase in bike parking and the provision of showers, changing and locker facilities for staff.
  • Pool Bikes available for staff to use for work related trips or personal use for up to three weeks.
  • Active promotion of the Bike to Work Scheme since its inception in 2009.

Travel Planning and the Travelways Commuter Centre has consistently demonstrated its effectiveness at promoting more sustainable travel choices and reducing car-reliance.

  • The target as per Travel Plan was a 23% reduction in car usage, as of 2010 a 30% reduction had been achieved.
  • There has been a corresponding increase in alternative modes:
    • Rail/Luas from 2% to 9%
    • Bus from 12% to 25%
    • Cycling from 3% to 10%
  • Staff participating in the public transport Taxsaver Tickets scheme increased by over 500%.
  • Significant reduction in demand for parking.  From a high of approximately 850 spaces prior to the start of the redevelopment, both onsite and off site, to 440 spaces post redevelopment.
  • Over 700 bikes have been purchased by staff under the Bike to Work Scheme.
  • Short list of three for the European Travel Plan Awards.
  • Winner of the Green Award – Transport Category.
  • Winner of The Irish Times Living Dublin Award, also taking first place in the Business in the Community Category.
  • Special merit “Better Place to Work” in the HSE Achievement Awards.
  • The hospital pioneered the implementation of Travel Planning and now provides a template for other organisations to follow.
  • Satisfaction with Travel Plan / Travelways – 82% rated it as excellent or good in staff survey.

The new adult development will go a long way to addressing the need for modern buildings and equipment for existing services and will provide significant additional capacity to service the hospitals growing patient needs.  Prior to and throughout the redevelopment of the site the success of the Travel Plan and Travelways mitigated against the impact of ongoing redevelopment works and created a cultural shift away from car dependence to more sustainable forms of transport.  This culture is now firmly embedded in the hospital. ”   Many thanks to Barry McKenna, Sustainability Officer, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital for providing this insightful case study. More information can be found at on the Travelways website.

Getting to the Mater by Public Transporttravelling to the mater

Example of Communication to New Staff to Encourage Sustainable Travel

In 2013 The Mater Miseracordiae University Hospital issued the letter below to new staff to encourage sustainable travel. The positive response was so great that they have offered to share this with other workplaces in the hope that they too might find it useful as a template for their own workplace.

“This is a document that probably elicited the best response to anything I’ve done in Travelways to promote sustainable transport to Junior Doctors about to start working in the Mater Hospital. It was included in the packs sent to NCHD’s (junior doctors) prior to them starting in July 2012. NCHD’s rotate in January and July.  Normally I would send a letter, all text, which was largely ignored. However this time I changed the format and the information provided. The response was impressive and surprising –  Several dozen have called to the Travelways office in the last few weeks, to sign up to Tax Saver or with other queries.” Barry McKenna, Mater Miseracordiae Hospital, Dublin

Download letter: Communicating to Staff Regarding Commuting to the Hospital

Travelways letter

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