Vehicle sharing in Antwerp expanding to scooters
To provide an alternative with road works affecting traffic in the city centre, the Brussels start-up company Scooty is offering electric powered scooters in a vehicle sharing system in Antwerp too. Antwerp citizens are taking to vehicle sharing, with car and bicycle sharing turning out to be ever more popular.
As of next week, 25 electric powered scooters will be available for sharing through the Scooty-network. Scooty started as the brainchild of three young men, tired of wasting time in Brussels’ traffic jams. In October last year, they started Scooty in Brussels with 25 scooters. In the meantime, Scooty counts 700 customers in Brussels and operates 75 scooters. “We were receiving demands to start a similar system in Antwerp as well”, explains Jan Jost, co-founder of Scooty. “We already have some 120 Antwerp citizens registered as users.”
Within 400 metres
After registering, users can see on a smartphone application the locations where available scooters are parked. According to Scooty, a scooter will be available within 400 metres of the user’s position.
He then pays 0.25 euros per minute for usage of the vehicle, and a parking fee of 0.05 euros per minute whilst shopping for instance. The user can drop the scooter off anywhere he likes within the defined limits (part of the old town centre). Registration normally costs 25 euros, but is temporarily available for 1 euro.
21 years old
Users have to be at least 21 years old and have a car licence or class B motorbike licence. A helmet is always provided with the scooter. The vehicle has a maximum speed of 45 kph. If the battery charge drops below 30 percent, the battery is replaced. By the end of summer, an extra 25 scooters are planned in Antwerp.
More vehicle sharing
Vehicle sharing is definitely on the up in Antwerp. The Velo bicycle-sharing network in the meantime has 50.000 users paying a yearly fee of 49 euros to grab a Velo-bicycle whenever they need one.
Service has meanwhile expanded beyond the old city centre limits. A new bicycle-sharing service, Cloudbike, starts later this year with 300 bicycles. Car sharing also sees a gain in popularity, with not only the Cambio-organization but also Bolides which specializes in more expensive cars that can be parked in designated areas.
Scooty claims young people are their preferred audience “because they are environmentally aware, know how to use an application and are open to sharing”, says Jan Jost. In Brussels, almost half of Scooty’s clients use the scooter to ride to work. 23 percent use it just for fun. An average ride takes 16 minutes.