Brussels, (Brussels Morning)- Shared bicycles and scooters continue to be added to the Brussels market. Are there limits to growth? Providers like Lime, Dott, Bird and Bolt certainly don’t. BRUZZ mapped out the market share of the various mobility players.
Currently there are 7 sharing scooter providers: Lime, Dott, Bird, Bolt, Pony, Voi and Tier. The market is relatively easy to enter in Brussels and that involves many players. Nevertheless, the scooter providers still see a lot of growth potential in the Brussels market as demand continues to rise.
Since last year, some of the service providers have started to focus heavily on e-bikes, which they see as extra benefit. Here they have to face competitors such as Billy bike and Villo! In Brussels.
Dott, Villo! and Voi have the most shared scooters and/or bicycles available, together accounting for 75 percent of shared micromobility vehicles.
Dott seems to be the one with the most devices: 4000 e-steps and 1000 e-bikes. “The demand for scooters and bicycles continues to rise. Before June 2022, we had an 86 percent growth of our e-scooters compared to June 2021. This shows that our vehicles are becoming more and more part of the mobility landscape in Brussels,” he said. it at Dott’s PR.
Bolt currently has 3300 scooters in Brussels and has introduced 1000 electric bicycles since the end of June. “We will be introducing additional bicycles on top of that, as the demand for shared bicycles continues to grow enormously, much to our surprise.”
The Bolt scooter has all kinds of gadgets: a beginner mode, traffic rules, a mandatory alcohol test , a system that refuses two riders per scooter and a suggestion to wear a helmet. “Riders can request a helmet for free from Bolt,” country manager Oualid Benhammadi told Bolt.
“Bolt is happy with the many providers in the market, because this keeps the market healthy and prices stay low. This contributes to our core values: offering the lowest price so that every part of the population can use the scooters and nobody is excluded.”
Since February 2022, Tier has joined the market with 4,414 e-scooters in Brussels. According to Jesper Vis, general manager of Tier Benelux, the market is a bit too saturated in Brussels: “A few tenders would be nice, so that we can cover a larger part of the market, and it makes it easier to negotiate for the government.”
“Since January 2020, we have been climate neutral by using green energy and compensating for our impact,” adds Jesper Vis. At Tier, too, they are thinking of introducing e-bikes in the near future.
The British Pony has been in Brussels since last year. They have a separate business model: you can rent one, but you can also buy a scooter yourself, which you can then rent out through Pony. You will then receive 50 percent of the rental income. “We are seeing an explosion in demand for shared mobility, a revolution is underway.” says the PR manager of Pony, Guillem Leroux. Pony currently has 1000 e-scooters in Brussels.
You also have the providers Voi , Lime and Bird in Brussels.
“Parking is a known problem with us,” said Bolt’s Benhammadi. “The rules are different for every municipality and that confuses the users. If they introduced demarcated parking zones everywhere, it would be clearer and easier for us.”
Diego Eggermont of Espaces Mobilités still has reservations: “Place in Brussels is, as always, scarce and expensive. If we are going to delineate zones, the question remains from whom we should take that place. Another problem arises with the walking distance. When the distance becomes too great for the users to walk back, they may drop out as a step user.”
Share of shared mobility
Shared mobility is only 8.20 percent compared to individual use of the bicycle or scooter. If we look at it per mode of transport, we see that half of the scooter consists of partial scooters, the other half of our own scooters. This is completely different with bicycles: shared bicycles make up only a very small fraction (2.5 percent) of the total bicycle use. Three quarters of all partial mobility takes place by scooter and one fourth by bicycle.
From a report by Vias, the Belgian Institute for Road Safety, we see a threefold increase in injury crashes when we compare the first quarter of 2021 and 2022. “This is simply because there are more users and not because the scooters are becoming more dangerous,” explains Guillem Leroux of Pony.
“In our testing , we see that inexperienced users are often the problem. Many see the scooter as something from their childhood, but these scooters drive faster and there is the environment, with cars going at 30 or 50 km per hour. But most accidents mainly occur at night, by people under the influence.” informs Diego Eggermont of Espaces-Mobilités.
It is precisely because of those accidents that new rules have been introduced. For example, scooters in Brussels can go a maximum of 20 kilometres per hour, you are no longer allowed to ride under 16 or with two on a scooter and the speed in two walking zones b is limited to 8 kilometres per hour. “But it is actually too early to assess the effects of these new rules for e-scooters,” says Steven Fierens of Brussels Mobility.