From October 2019, Hely, formerly HUUB, opened five Hely Hubs with more than three hundred city bikes at various P + R locations around Noordwest Hospital Group (NWZ) in Alkmaar. While commuter traffic has come to a standstill throughout the Netherlands due to the Corona crisis, this is of course not the case in Alkmaar at NWZ. The care heroes work harder than ever and now rely on a smart shared bike from Hely every day for the last mile to their workplace. Head of Facility Services Marco Lagrand and Jordy Stam, Category Manager Medical and responsible for purchasing at NWZ, explain how the collaboration with Hely came about and what Hely MAX has done for NWZ.
Marco Lagrand: We had a bigger parking problem; a big number of people from all over the province come to the hospital every day and there are not enough parking spaces for everyone to leave their car directly at the hospital. Of course there must be sufficient parking space for patients and visitors, but the hospital must also remain easily accessible for staff. We have set up various things for this, such as a broader bicycle scheme, parking permits for a selective group of employees and a reserved parking area for nurses with evening shifts. The other group can park their car further away, but we were still looking for a solution to facilitate that last mile for them.
Jordy Stam: We have researched several mobility solutions for that last mile. Like shuttle buses, for example, but these are relatively expensive and less flexible. So we soon ended up with shared bicycles; these are a lot more sustainable, healthier and can be used at any time. We think it is important to offer multiple shared mobilities in the future, so the implementation of shared bicycles was a great first step.
Jordy Stam: Greenwheels, like Hely a company that is part of Pon, referred us to Hely. Because Hely has a lot of experience in offering shared bicycles. Hely is a fairly young company, but with the strength of a large, stable company like Pon behind it, this gave us sufficient confidence in the services of Hely. The contact with Hely has always gone very well: we had a lot of personal contact during the start-up and if there were problems, they were resolved quickly and properly. This personal, solution-oriented approach certainly gave confidence.
Marco Lagrand: The start with the shared bikes was a bit rough, partly due to the rainy autumn weather; they were not happy that they had to park further away, let alone having to cycle through the rain for the last few minutes. Fortunately, over time, the acceptance rate improved a lot. The Hely Helpdesk has also helped with this, for example by sending flowers to employees who had bad luck with a city bicycle. Especially now with the Corona Crisis, we notice that people are avoiding public transport and more often travel by car. Then it is extra important that people can park their car properly and that the hospital remains easily accessible. We also noticed that when a P + R location is within walking distance, about an 8 minute walk, from the hospital, people often opt for the easy bicycle. The learning here is that location, the closer the better, is really key.
Jordy Stam: We previously also made temporary car sharing available to our employees with Hely, as a solution to the high declaration costs of rental cars. Due to some organizational difficulties, we did not roll this out widely at the time, but I would certainly like to pick this up again. I also think it would be interesting to further explore structural solutions with, for example, shared scooters and e-bikes.
Marco Lagrand: I also see a lot of potential in a model with shared cars. In a car-sharing pilot at one of our foundations, we also clearly see that efficiency is the winning factor here. However, I don't really believe in carpooling. We've tried this before, but wasn't actually used. In addition, I would like to encourage cycling even further, with e-bikes directly from home, for example. Ultimately, you want to strive for maximum employee satisfaction. Hely is certainly a party that we would call in for this when the peace of mind in healthcare has increased slightly. The collaboration has always been great!
If you think, after reading this interview: I would also like to find at a solution for the last mile for my company. Discover the business solutions from Hely! Hely delivers customized mobility solutions that precisely match the wishes and needs of your organization.The business solution
Categorymanager Medical and responsible for buying at NWZ
"Hely's personal, solution-oriented approach gave us confidence."
Head Facility Services at NWZ
"The location of the Hely Hub is key."
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