With Swatch Group you park in Italy and you go to work in Switzerland
An agreement between Clivio's communal administration and a company in Mendrisio belonging to Swatch Group has recently been signed. It will decrease the lengthy queues on the border and will fix the finances of the small commune.
€20,000 per year will bolster the commune of Clivio’s finances, for the loan of a parking lot, located in the outskirts of the town bordering Switzerland. But the value of the recently signed agreement between Clivio’s communal administration and a company in Mendrisio belonging to Swatch Group is far bigger, both because of its environmental advantages and because it will lessen intra-border traffic, and also because of its capacity of “breaking the ice“ on a theme which is discussed much but practised little, that is, car pooling, car sharing and, in general, methods to reach the working place without a car for each worker.
The agreement, the first of its kind on the border with Switzerland, is a loaning contract signed between the commune and the private company Diantus Watch, which is tied to Swatch Group and which is based on Mendrisio, in the extremely crowded area of Foxtown. The company asked the Commune for some modifications to the parking lot in Via Emizada and for some improvements to the area, which is normally used only during events in the near sports centre. In exchange, Clivio’s administration will earn €20,000 per year, in two big 6-months payments for the loan. Meanwhile, Diantus has signed an agreement with “Giuliani e Laudi“ for the collective transport of workers who park at Clivio, who will therefore be transported by bus to the company, which is located about 10 kilometres from the parking lot.
“There are about 30 female workers who have already “subscribed“ to the parking and transport service paid by the company” explained Diantus, “those who use it will have an ID card which will look exactly like a subscription. The bus also stops in Baraggia and Gaggiolo, then crossing the border. We actually already filled the bus in this way.“
Diantus has about 750 employees, and 90% of them are women and border workers; for this reason, the matter of the transport is an important part of the company’s organization, also because the possibilities of parking interfere with the nearby mall and the perspective of having 700 cars around the company is extremely likely in this case. But, on the contrary, also a “wild parking spree“ in Italy can trigger more than one diplomatic incident.
A first solution had already been found in Mendrisio. Cars with more than one person can park nearer to the company, those with just the driver must park farther away. This is a system which is also used by other border companies, and which has pushed border workers to organize themselves and do a sort of self-carpooling, looking for a parking near the borders and crossing with a single car.
“This is a situation that penalized a bit small towns like ours; people who parked in the centre at 5 in the morning and left the car there until 16 actually made it impossible to park for people who only had to do some errands, because they filled the little spaces designated in those areas – explains Ida Petrillo, Clivio’s Mayor, who signed the agreement on Friday with Mr. Paccolat, the company’s director – therefore, for us it’s not only the economical matter to make us happy, but it’s also the improvement of the quality of life in the town. A quality we have reached without removing any comfort from anyone.“
The right side of the parking, the one which is loaned, can be used exclusively by Diantus’ employees, from Monday to Saturday, from 5 to 15, a period of time during which the shuttle bus, which will serve the workers of the first turn in the company, will pass – and it will be available again for the town after that period and in the weekend. Without stripping anything from anyone, with a huge save on fuel, without disturbing life in the border towns, and decreasing queues at customs.