Player #9 on the Sustainability Green Team often plays side-by-side with Car Pool, Player #6, whom we met earlier. For some people, carpooling may still be a better option, but on some routes, trains are faster than our car-clogged roads.
Imagine not being stuck in traffic on the morning drive and relaxing in your seat, reading or listening to music, on the ride home. Public transport is more sustainable for both people and planet.
Choose a Convenient Location
Making public transport to your meeting the easier option all starts with the choice of location. A quaint resort in the middle of nowhere might be nice and quiet, but also difficult for attendees to reach by bus and train. Consider locating your event convenient to local public transport, a major train station or, for international events, near an airport.
During the registration process, ask attendees what their plans are for transportation. And ask not only what their plans are for getting to your meeting, but also how they plan to get around locally (especially important at events over several days). When making plans to attend your meeting, attendees are already thinking about whether to rent a car or use public transport. Use that opportunity to facilitate the carpooling ideas we wrote about earlier. Ask for arrival/departure times during registration. You can then use registration data to plan shuttles that takes guests from train stations (or even the airport) to your venue.
Use Parking Fees as Carbon Offsets
Recently, the Dutch organization EvenementContact had a goal of eliminating carbon emissions from travel associated with their event. The reminder email three days prior to the event requested that attendees consider travel by train.
To make train travel even more appealing, attendees were reminded that parking fees during peak arrival hours for the meeting would be at their highest. To further encourage sustainable modes of travel, any attendee who chose to come via train instead of car was recognized - EvenementContact calculated the parking fees that would have been paid by those who opted for train travel, and directed those funds towards carbon offsets for the meeting instead. And the attendees saved money on parking fees.
Consider riding the rails the next time you're travelling for a meeting or conference!