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Professionnal mobility and car ownership (PROMOCO)

Research project SD/TM/06A (Research action SD)

Persons :

  • M.  TOINT Philippe - Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix (FUNDP)
    Coordinator of the project
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2007-31/1/2009
  • M.  CORNELIS Eric - Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix (FUNDP)
    Coordinator of the project
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2007-31/1/2009
  • Dhr.  WETS Geert - Universiteit Hasselt (UHASSELT)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2007-31/1/2009
  • Mevr.  MACHARIS Cathy - Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2007-31/1/2009

Description :


More company cars are sold every year in Belgium. Moreover, existing analysis indicate that the annual mileage covered by company cars is very significantly above that of private cars. This phenomenon and its effects on the general mobility can thus be considered as important elements of any realistic mobility analysis.
Can the impacts of this trend be estimated, both on sustainability issues and on the more general evolution of mobility behaviours? This is the central question in the PROMOCO project.
The company cars problematic lies at the intersection of private and professional mobility. If the former has already been the subject of a descriptive analysis in Belgium (see the MOBEL survey), the latter remains, to our knowledge, completely unstudied. But since it also causes negative externalities, a better knowledge of this mobility is a potentially crucial objective.

Project description


The project will consider two major issues.
The first is whether the company cars availability induces specific mobility patterns, and, if this is the case, how these specific patterns contribute to the impacts of the general mobility on a sustainable society.
The second question is the potential relationship between the use of company cars and the relative localizations of the household and work places.
The research project’s ambition is to clarify somewhat these key issues, and therefore to provide the necessary background information needed for deriving realistic mobility oriented, land-use or fiscal policies for a more sustainable society.
In particular, the project will focus on:
− the analysis of the mobility behaviours that are induced in households in which company cars are available;
− the description of the relations between workplace accessibility and company cars availability.
The objective of the research is to produce an argued appraisal of the global impact of company cars on sustainable mobility.


Given the project objectives, the network partners will organize the technical work along three main lines: specific data collection, modeling of the company cars impact and description of the correlations between their availability and workplace accessibility.
The data collection part is justified by the need to collect some crucial information for the progress of the subject. In addition to the usual socio-economic household characteristics, the project will focus in particular on:
− the share of company cars mileage effectively affected to professional activities;
− the practical conditions of the use of company cars by household which might significantly alter the impact of company cars on the household;
− the willingness to change travel behaviour if a company car is available.

The modeling part, on the other hand, can also be viewed as consisting of two main parts: models for car ownership and models for induced mobility patterns.
The first class of models aims at describing the choices made in households regarding the purchase, leasing or renting of cars, as a function of the households characteristics. The second modeling exercise is to provide a mechanism to estimate the impact of company car availability on household mobility patterns. This will allow the investigation of several issues of interest, including:
− the possible alteration of the average number of trips, distance traveled and time spent in transportation for various trip purposes;
− the changes induced by the availability of company cars regarding mode choice;
− the specific effect of the company cars on the modal choice for short trips and possibly several others.

Another objective is to provide an analysis of the potential relations between the availability of company cars and the objective difficulty for the involved household members to reach their workplace. The company view point will also be investigated regarding
− the relative merits of the scheme compared to alternative transportation support techniques for their staff;
− its relation to the estimated purely professional mobility;
− its impact on future localization choices for the company.
These points will be explored during interviews with companies' fleet managers and human resources offices.

The tasks will be shared between the partners as follows
1: Review of the existing knowledge (GRT-VUB-IMOB)
2: Design of the data collection (GRT-VUB-IMOB)
3: Models (GRT-IMOB)
4: Data collection in the field (GRT-VUB-IMOB)
5: Descriptive analysis (GRT-VUB)
6: Estimation of the car ownership and induced activities models (GRT-IMOB)
7: Descriptive analysis of the relations between work accessibility and company cars (GRT-VUB)
8: Dissemination and reporting (GRT-VUB-IMOB)

Expected results

Mainly, the results provided by this project could be divided in three categories:
1. descriptive analysis based on the data collected in the planned survey;
2. results from the models including the analysis of the substitution effects from the car ownership model and the analysis on new trip generation, modal shifts and impacts of the conditions of company car use from the induced activities model;
3. descriptive analysis of the relations between work accessibility and company cars.

A workshop will be organized to present the lessons drawn from this project to companies and organizations and administrations in charge of fiscal policies, transport and mobility policies as well as land use planning.

The project is also in phase with other research/development initiatives at European level: the ERA-NET transport program, and its Group 10 (ENT10)



The FUNDP Transportation Research Group (GRT) explicitly focuses on the behavioural analysis of the daily travel and mobility of individuals, using aggregate and disaggregate models.
IMOB’s mission is to develop sustainable solutions for issues in the fields of transportation and traffic safety. Within the area of transportation, research mainly focuses on transportation behaviour. Next to fundamental scientific research, IMOB also wishes to bridge the gap between the academic world and concrete policy practices.
The main research topics of the department MOSI (VUB) are transport and logistics, sustainable mobility, multi-criteria analysis and location analysis. The research of the MOSI-Transport and Logistics research group focuses on establishing linkages between operational research techniques and economic impact studies in the field of transport and mobility.

Contact Information


Philippe Toint & Eric Cornelis
Facultés Universitaires Notre Dame de la Paix (FUNDP)
Groupe de recherche sur les Transports (GRT)
Rempart de la Vierge 8
B-5000 Namur
Tel:+32 (0)81 72 49 17
Fax:+32 (0)81 72 49 14


Geert Wets
Universiteit Hasselt (UA)
Transportation Research Institute (IMOB)
Campus Diepenbeek
Wetenschapspark 5 bus 6
B-3590 Diepenbeek
Tel:+32 (0)11 26 91 58
Fax:+32 (0)11 26 91 99

Cathy Macharis
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Informatics (MOSI)
Pleinlaan 2
B-1050 Brussels
Tel:+32 (0)2 629 22 86
Fax:+32 (0)2 629 21 86

Follow-up Committee

Alain Broers - Ministère de la Région Bruxelles-Capitale
Pascal Blocteur - Ministère de l'Equipement et des Transports de la Région Wallonne (MET)
Caroline De Geest - Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij
Laurent Demilie - SPF Mobilité et Transports
Joost Germis - Vlaams Economisch Verbond
Wilfried Goossens - Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap
Marleen Govaerts - Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap
Etienne Hannon - SPF Santé publique, Sécurité de la Chaîne alimentaire et Environnement
Luc Maréchal - Ministère de la Région Wallonne
Inge Mayeres - Bureau Fédéral du Plan
Samuël Saelens - Union Wallonne des Entreprises
Mieke Suykerbuyk - Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap
Pierre Thonon - Union Wallonne des Entreprises
Tania Van Mierlo - Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap
Michèle Pans - Centrale Raad voor het Bedrijfsleven
Hans Tindemans - Mobiliteitsraad van Vlaanderen

Documentation :

Professional mobility and car ownership : final report  Cornelis, Eric - Wets, Geert - Macharis, Cathy ... et al  Brussels : Federal Science Policy, 2009 (SP2059)
[To download]  [To order

Professional mobility and car ownership : summary    Brussels : Federal Science Policy, 2011 (SP2348)
[To download

Mobilité professionnelle et voitures de societé : résumé    Bruxelles : Politique scientifique fédérale, 2011 (SP2349)
[To download

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