70% more driver’s licenses for motorbikes than 10 years ago
In Flanders, some 60 driver’s licenses for motorbikes are distributed daily. In 2018 they totaled 21.100 or 70% more than ten years ago. “More and more people trade in their car for a motorbike to avoid traffic jams,” states Stijn Vancuyck of car and cycle federation, Febiac. Last year, the sales of motorbikes boomed.
66 licenses a day
The number of Belgians who received a driver’s license for a motorbike increased significantly last year. According to an analysis from Febiac, today, more than 70% of permits are distributed compared to ten years ago. In 2009, municipalities gave out 14.208 licenses, last year the number went up to 24.160, being an average of 66 a day or 465 a week.
The reason for this explosive growth is apparent: with the ever-growing congestion, people are looking for alternative means of transport, Vancuyck explains. More and more people use the motorbike for commuting. “It is almost the only alternative for fast commuting traffic, especially for a 25-km distance or more.”
Flexible mobility budget
That is why Febiac pleads for a more flexible mobility budget for all types of motorbikes, not only mopeds or e-bikes. “As long as people are not compensated for their motorbike, they keep on using their company car,” says Luc Bontemps, director-general of Febiac.
“Authorities often forget the importance of the motorbike,” adds Vancuyck. “Besides, an e-bike is not the ideal solution for long distances, and public transport only serves the city centers.”
Three years ago, Febiac launched Start2Ride, a program with free online guidance to win people over to the motorbike. Until now, 196.000 people visited the website, and more than 25.000 people got free online coaching.