Vias: ‘Car is losing ground in cities like Brussels’
The car is losing ground to other means of locomotion. That’s clear from the January edition of the mobility barometer of road safety institute, Vias. This sort of snapshot of modes of travel in Belgium is based on a questionnaire filled in by 1 000 people.
Car is losing ground
Although the car is still logically the preferred means of transport for Belgians, it is losing ground to other modes of transportation, such as trains, buses, bicycles, or walking. This applies especially to the Brussels region.
In autumn 2019, 50,84% of the kilometers traveled by the inhabitants of Brussels were covered by car, compared to 63,65% in the last summer. That’s a drop of almost 13%. Conversely, the fall is more measured in Wallonia (71,84% in autumn compared to 80,31%) and Flanders (71,46% compared to 71,77%).
Car and train for long distances
According to the Vias barometer, the car remains the preferred means of locomotion for long distances. This, while a Belgian motorist travels, on average, about 50 kilometers every day by car against 70 by train, more people (71%) choose the car than the train (10,82%).
The travel patterns by gender are relatively similar. For example, 71% of the kilometers traveled by men and women are by car. The big difference lies mainly in their respective roles within the passenger compartment. While 87% of the kilometers traveled by men in cars are driven while behind the wheel, this proportion rises to 67% for women.
Cycling remains limited
While its health benefits are well established, cycling is still under-represented when traveling. Only 3,95% of the kilometers traveled in Brussels are done by bicycle. The proportion is even lower in Wallonia (1,26%). Flanders does slightly better with 7,1% of journeys made by bike.
The use of the e-step is also decreasing in every region, albeit slightly.
Bus is underused
Despite the efforts of the various bus companies, the share of buses in the modes of transport remains very low. Out of 100 km, only two and a half are traveled by bus. And it is quite logical in Brussels that they are the most used, while remaining a fairly marginal means of transport within the Brussels region, with only 4,83% of the kilometers traveled there, compared with 12% from trams and metros.