In its crack-down on increasingly inconvenient shared mobility vehicles, the government of the Brussels Capital Region passed a decree earlier this year aimed at better regulating these services across the Belgian capital.
1. Reduced fleet
Part of the new regulation is the reduction of both the number of vehicles like e-scooters and shared bikes, but also the number of operators. This fall, regional transport administrator, Brussels Mobility, launched a call for applications to select the shared mobility operators authorized to offer their services in Brussels.
Bolt and Dott have now been selected as the only two operators authorized to offer a total of 8,000 e-scooters scooters in Brussels (compared to more than 20,000 currently in circulation). Besides scooters, shared bicycles have also been regulated, only Bolt, Dott and Voi being allowed 2,500 bikes each from February. For mopeds, Felyx and GO will be allowed 300 vehicles each, while TIER and Pony will each be allowed 150 cargo bikes.
To give other operators time to adapt and remove their vehicles from the streets, a transition period has been given until 1 February. “During that period, other providers can look into how they are going to discontinue their services and where they are going with those scooters”, Brussels Mobility spokesperson Inge Paemen told The Brussels Times. “Some of these providers have more than 3,000 scooters in Brussels. It is certainly not as simple as making sure they just take them off the streets between Christmas and New Year, for example.”
The 7 operators have been chosen from 27 applications submitted by 15 operators. Among the many selection criteria, Brussels Mobility examined the ability of operators to ensure compliance with parking and road safety rules, fleet management with a view to limiting the impact on traffic, accessibility and the inclusiveness of services, the integration of these services with the Brussels transport offer, as well as environmental and socio-economic impact.
“Among the many proposals made by the winners, the people of Brussels will be able to benefit from the safest and most precise vehicles, as well as the latest generation on-board technology, while the fleet of vehicles (e-scooters, bicycles, mopeds) will have 100% zero direct emissions and special pricing will be planned for different target audiences”, Brussels Mobility said in a statement.
2. Dedicated parking
The new regulation also provides that users will not be able to end their rides outside a dedicated parking area, also called dropzones. Over the past few months, the city has installed 1,000 such zones and plans on reaching 1,500 over the next few weeks.
As of 1 February, the system will be effective for 11 Brussels municipalities: Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Koekelberg, Evere, Woluwé-Saint-Pierre, Etterbeek, Ixelles, Saint-Gilles, Jette, Ganshoren, Watermael-Boisfort and Auderghem, where the number of dropzones marked on the roads is sufficient. For municipalities where not enough areas have yet been marked, the operators will create “virtual dropzones” via their GPS tracking systems to the locations chosen by the authorities. The ground markings will be created gradually in the remaining municipalities starting in the summer, Brussels Mobility explained.