Antwerp pampers car sharing
More and more people in Antwerp share a car. Last year, the city issued 1.124 parking permits for shared vehicles, two thirds more than the year before. Commercial companies, like Poppy and Cambio, have a fleet of cars that you can rent, but there are also more and more private individuals who share their vehicle with others, or groups of people who buy one or even more cars and share them.
Car sharing on the way up
“People are becoming aware that having your car isn’t always ideal,” says Antwerp Alderman for Mobility, Koen Kennis (N-VA). “As a result, they dispose of the second, but increasingly also the only car.”
For example, the number of commercial permits in Antwerp almost tripled, but private car sharing also increased by a fifth. These cars are useful for at least 702 users in the city.
30 to 33 cents per kilometer
Studies show that a single shared car takes six to ten cars off the street. Does the city also see this in the number of residents’ cars issued? “That number decreased slightly, but it’s not immediately clear whether that’s because of the shared car,” says the alderman.
Users of car sharing pay for a small city car or mono volume a start-up fee of 420 euros, and between 30 and 33 cents per kilometer – the same rate or cheaper than that would cost a private car.
Reserved parking space
The city offers certain advantages to a shared car. Two or more people in different zones receive a residents’ card for each of the zones. From four people you can park anywhere, and you get a reserved parking space, even if you have to share it with other groups of shared cars.
Antwerp, but also Mechelen and Louvain, offer larger car-sharing groups certain advantages, such as parking cards for almost the entire city. “From four families it is also possible to apply for a reserved space,” says Alderman for Mobility, Alexander Vandersmissen (Open Vld-Groen-m+), who estimates the number of car shares in Mechelen at 2.000 people, with about hundred cars.
Car stands still most of the time
At the umbrella organization of Flemish cities and municipalities, VVSG, the initiatives are considered to be a good thing. “Every car takes its place and, on average, a car stands more than 80% of the time still,” says spokesperson Nathalie Debast. “Encouraging car sharing is also sometimes done by making parking cards payable. That can be a signal because you take up public space.”