The ambition of this cooperation between the ÖBB (Austrian Federal Railway) and the Upper Austrian Department for Family Affairs was to achieve a win-win-situation for both organisations and their benefit cards. On the one hand, the €19.90 fee via ÖBB does not cover all the costs for administration, postage charges and advertising expenses. On the other hand, most of the holders of the ‘ÖBB-Advantage Family Card’ also hold the ‘Upper Austrian Family Card’. So, the goals of this cooperation are: provide the holder of one of these benefit cards with the benefits of both cards for free; register and administrate the address database from one location; combine the two benefit cards into one co-branded card; reduction of the incidental charges for administration; extend the validation of the card to between one and five years. These goals were attained without any additional costs for the organisations. Until now the administration of the cards was carried out by the Upper Austrian Department for Family Affairs. The additional use of the different modes of public transport causes no increase of the variable costs (train, tram or bus). The reduction can only be used for trips with at least one child and one adult. Thus, more families use the Austrian Federal Railway especially on weekends and during holidays.
The Department for Family Affairs issues the ‘Upper Austrian Family Card’ to parents and single parents with at least one child that is receiving family assistance payments. This card offers discounts at organisations for leisure and recreation as well as for trading and service companies. In total 1700 companies are participating in this programme and 150,000 families hold the ‘Upper Austrian Family Card’. Likewise, the Austrian Federal Railway (ÖBB) offers the ‘ÖBB-Advantage Family Card’. This card offers discounts in passenger transport services for families and various other discounts in the area of mobility. By 2006, approximately 12,000 families were holders of the ‘ÖBB-Advantage Family Card’ in Upper Austria. The fee for this card, which offers large discounts on train tickets, is €19.90 per year. The Advantage Family Card of the Austrian Federal Railway (ÖBB) – the card was free of charge until June 2006 – was distributed to 150,000 families (without any costs). This means an enormous revaluation of this card. The holders of this card are able to use all benefits (particularly the large discounts on train journeys). Furthermore the Austrian Federal Railway (ÖBB) and the Upper Austrian Department for Family Affairs agreed to extend the validity of this card to five years. The Austrian Federal Railway noticed an increase in ‘off-peak’ travel; especially on weekends and during holidays more families use the Austrian Federal Railway instead of cars. Additionally, the Austrian Federal Railway is saving expenses on the administration of addresses which has been dealt with by the Department for Family Affairs. Thereby, the government of Upper Austria has no additional work and no extra costs. An additional valorisation of this ticket is the different excursion packages (e.g. winter sport offers etc.) and the free carriage of bicycles (bicycle voucher). On the part of the Upper Austrian Department for Family Affairs there has been no other campaign registered with such a positive feedback. The subjective benefit for the citizens is effectively noticed. Per year, some €5 million can be saved for families in Upper Austria. In addition to the savings, this system contributes to environmental protection and mobility since children (and adults) are educated to use public transport.
|Award category:||smart public service delivery|
|Sector:||Public administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform|
|Type of activity:|
|Keywords:||Upper Austrian Family Card, win-win situation for company and public administration, public-private partnership in using cooperative the combined benefit card, shared costs, double benefit|
|Short English description:||The Department for Family Affairs issues the ‘Upper Austrian Family Card’ to parents and single parents with at least one child that is receiving family assistance payments. This card offers discounts at organisations for leisure and recreation as well as for trading and service companies.|
|Organisation:||Federal State Government of Upper Austria – Department for Family Affairs|
|Level of government:||regional level|
|Size of organisation:||1-25|
|Number of people involved:||6-10|
|EU membership:||EU member|