Brussels’ meals on wheels to use cargo bicycles
The Belgian Home-Care and Service Center (CSD) has started to deliver meals to the housebound on cargo bicycles since October 15th. In partnership with Brussels’ cooperative Urbike, the project aims to replace the twenty-five vans with special cargo bikes to continue delivering 600 meals a day in a more environmentally friendly way.
Besides nursing care and home help, the Home-Care and Service Center (CSD) delivers up to six hundred meals per day to homebound citizens. To that use, twenty-five vans drive around the city of Brussels every day. Since October 15th, one of them has been replaced by a cargo bicycle that can transport up to 180 kilos of freight or twenty meals.
Meals on bicycle wheels
“The time gain isn’t colossal. Couriers take around two and a half to three hours to deliver twenty meals. A van can deliver up to thirty meals but it requires two people, a driver and a courier,” explains Stéphanie Friebel, project manager.
“All our couriers have a social watch mission. They must check if the person is doing well, take time to put the meal on the table, and possibly unscrew the thermos of soup. Our model isn’t that of Deliveroo or Uber Eats, we’re not racing for efficiency at all costs,” she adds.
‘Greener and cheaper’
“The project shows a lot of interest. The bicycle is greener than the car, it requires fewer human resources, and it’s also cheaper to run,” further develops the CSD communication officer, Céline Mercier.
The CSD project is part of Brussels cooperative Urbike’s larger project ‘BCklet’. Their aim is to show the benefits of cargo bicycle deliveries to their four major partners (Delhaize, bpost, Multipharma, and CSD). “Our objective is to prove that we can transform the last mile delivery model by replacing vans with bicycles,” adds Renault Sarrasin, cofounder of Urbike.