New means of transport gaining ground

Whether scooters, single-wheelers or hoverboards, new means of transport are carving out a niche in Belgium, and certainly in Brussels, according to the 7th National Road Insecurity Survey presented on Monday by the Vias road-safety institute.

The study polled a representative sample of about 6,000 Belgians, focusing particularly on their mobility habits, and whether they felt safe or not as they moved around. It found that 3% used the new means of transport at least once in 2018, and the rate doubles to 6% when only Brussels residents are taken into consideration.

The percentage of market share the new modes of transport now have is equivalent to that of motor-cycles, Vias stresses. “The survey was conducted in late October, early November, before an important firm that rents out electric scooters came and set up shop in Brussels,” notes Vias CEO Karin Genoe, implying that the market share of users of the new devices may have increased further since the study.

In fact, in mid-November, the Lime company from the United States joined Troty and Bird in Brussels, offering patrons shared, geo-localised scooters linked to specific applications.

Cars remain the preferred means of transport in Belgium, with 79% of respondents confirming that they took the wheel at least once in 2018. However, public transport is gaining in popularity, with one out of two Belgians (48%) saying they had used such transport at least once during the one-year period preceding the study, up from 41% in the previous edition of the survey. About 72% of Brussels dwellers used public transport in 2018, as against 61% for cars.

While people in Flanders were also major users of public transport (50%), Walloons were much less enthusiastic about using them (36%).

The survey further shows that 8% of Belgians were the victims of an accident with material damage in 2018, a 2%-drop from the preceding year, Mobility Minister Francoise Bellot, explained.

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