Gatwick has announced it is the first airport in the world to launch a car-pooling service that offers staff preferential parking spaces and tracks their associated reduction in vehicle miles and emissions in real time.
The service, in partnership with journey sharing platform Faxi, collects data from each shared journey – via a smartphone app – and uses it to incentivise drivers with access to preferential parking bays in their existing car park.
The airport said that, over time those drivers who regularly transport the most passengers to and from work will be given the opportunity to upgrade to a staff car park of their choice. Gatwick noted that these car parks are located up to one mile closer to the terminal buildings, so the scheme could significantly reduce commuting time by up to 40 minutes each day.
The Faxi app provides drivers with information showing other staff on their route and the potential diversion from their normal route (in minutes) for pick-up. This allows drivers to fill their vehicle with passengers, minimise their environmental impact and gives the best chance of being upgraded to their choice of car park.
According to research by the Office for National Statistics, only around 10% of people in UK regularly share their journeys with another traveller, while other studies suggests that nearly half of all people in the UK would share a journey with someone they know.
Gatwick Airport’s Head of Car Parking, Gary Wallace, commented: “I am pleased to announce Gatwick is partnering with Faxi as the airport continues to expand its portfolio of sustainable travel and parking schemes for both passengers and staff at the airport. Faxi allows our staff to not only save money and share travel costs but also reduce their car emissions and traffic on local roads at the same time, which once again demonstrates Gatwick’s commitment to being the UK’s most environmentally friendly airport.”
Robin Kirk, Security Officer at Gatwick, added: “I’ve been participating in the Faxi trial over the past few months and carpool with 3 others – we’re all on the same team so we work and travel together. We share the driving, taking it in turns. It’s been working quite nicely, sharing the petrol costs has been notable, so much so that I’ve been able to afford a new car with a lower insurance premium. We’re happy that we’re able to use the preferential parking spots. Especially where we parked today, nearer the terminal building, makes a big difference.”