Catch the bus – it’s good for you

Photography by: Supplied (BusVic)

‘One Day in Five’ initiative seeks to improve public transport usage and general health

Catch the bus – it’s good for you
BusVic exec-director Dr Chris Lowe didn't have to contend with Melbourne drivers on this trip

A new public transport initiative encouraging people to catch a bus, train, or tram one day a week is now being rolled out across Victoria.

‘One Day in Five’ was trialled by the Bendigo council and Bendigo Bank and, after its success, has been altered for state-wide uptake by the Bus Association of Victoria (BusVic), Public Transport Victoria, and various government branches.

The initiative works via company registration on a dedicated website, which allows employees to sign up to the company’s program.

Employees are then able to track their transport usage for each week they participate.

BusVic executive director Dr Chris Lowe explains:

"At the end of any period, an employer can run a report that summarises the participation of their workforce," he says.

"This information can also be used to offer incentives to teams or individuals."

For example, Bendigo Bank changed some workplace policies to introduce more flexible start times, allowing for occasional delays which occur in the public transport system.

 Lowe says the benefits of the One Day in Five initiative go beyond employee engagement.

"We know from research that if we use active or public transport instead of the car, it's better for the economy as it reduces congestion, it's better for the environment as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions and it’s good for public health due to greater amounts of passive exercise undertaken. 

"Doing so also promotes better social connections with our community."

Employers are encouraged to look into the initiative as an easy addition to a well-rounded corporate responsibility program.

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