Superheroes of urban travel: the boom in electric bikes and scooters in Belgium
A quiet revolution is underway on Belgian streets: electric bikes and scooters. A simple yet futuristic means of transport, these two-wheeled vehicles have well and truly conquered the towns and cities of our flat country. A practical, dynamic and above all environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional transport. Good news for drivers looking for fast, efficient solutions!
Bikes, the new era in urban travel
For a long time, cycling was seen as a simple means of leisure or sport. Today, it has become a formidable weapon in the fight against traffic and environmental problems. Like many countries, Belgium is facing major challenges in terms of air pollution, and incessant traffic jams are driving more and more people to get on their two wheels! Belgian towns and cities have begun to rethink their infrastructure to encourage this transition: cycle paths, self-service bicycles and pedestrian zones are on the increase. The aim behind these changes? To provide a welcoming and safe environment for cyclists.
Cycling: a home-grown culture
Our beautiful country has a rich history of cycling. Although we have long preferred the car, this trend is changing! Government initiatives and awareness-raising campaigns have won over some car drivers by creating a real cycling culture, where citizens see more than ever its potential to improve their quality of life on a daily basis. However, there are still many challenges to overcome, since safety must be guaranteed, which means that our cycling infrastructure needs to be constantly improved.
The rise of electric bikes
Very popular with Belgian city-dwellers today, electric bikes are a perfect solution for sustainable mobility. Their electric assistance means you can cover longer distances with less effort. A good idea if you don't want to arrive at your destination in a sweat! It's a trend that's been very much in vogue in recent years, and one that's been encouraged by our country, which has an ever-increasing number of suitable cycling facilities, helping to reduce our dependence on motorised vehicles. It's a great way to enjoy a pleasant cycling experience, whether you're commuting to work, doing the daily shopping or taking a Sunday stroll.
Electric scooters, instant mobility
Fast, convenient mobility - there's always a scooter around. After winning over a number of Belgian towns and cities, electric scooters have won over the general public, with the number of users growing by the day: according to Bruxelles Mobilité, there are currently 21,000 scooters available for self-service in Brussels alone! This is unprecedented flexibility, transporting users over short distances in the blink of an eye. No traffic and no parking - a real treat, don't you think?
On the other hand, the popularity of these little machines is being debated because the directives issued by the authorities are still too vague. In future, they must be specified in such a way as to ensure harmonious cohabitation with all road users. That's why other cities have taken the lead, such as Paris, where self-service scooters have been banned since 1 September 2023. And Belgium will follow suit by drastically reducing the number of scooters available from 2024.
Road safety remains a major concern, especially when scooters and bicycles share space with motorised vehicles. The same applies to parking management, where many questions also arise. But local authorities are working hard to find effective solutions and ensure peaceful coexistence for all.
Promising concepts for a sustainable future
Overall, the use of electric bikes and scooters is constantly evolving, reflecting a collective awareness of the urgent need to protect the environment. A need to rethink our habits and means of transport that has already been adopted by quite a few citizens. And that's already a great victory! By opting for these solutions, Belgians are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion in our cities, but above all they are helping to build a more sustainable future for us all.
Shared bikes and electric bikes
- Villo! is the best known. Pick one up at one of the 360 stations available. More than 5,000 bikes are available with a subscription or day ticket.
- Blue Bike: available from stations in all railway stations. With annual or daily season ticket.
- Dott: self-service with an activation fee and payment by the minute. Electric bikes and scooters available.
- Bolt: self-service. Electric bikes and scooters with pay-per-minute charges.
- Lime: self-service with activation fee and cost per minute or flat-rate pack.
- Dott: self-service with activation fee and pay-per-minute.
- Poppy: self-service with a €1 activation fee and payment by the minute or by the month.
- Pony: 1,000 scooters available on a self-service basis in Brussels with an activation fee and cost per minute or flat-rate package.
Like modern-day superheroes, two-wheeled users are helping to transform the urban landscape every day and showing that Belgium can be a fine example for other countries to follow. A real revolution in travel has begun!