Antwerp on its way to a 50/50 modal shift
The city of Antwerp has put much effort into realizing the modal shift from fewer cars to more alternative transport means. According to the most recent mobility statistics, in 2010, 51% of Antwerp citizens still used their car to go to work. In 2019, it was 41%, and last year – due to the corona pandemic and the introduction of teleworking – it was only 35%.
Figures of the last ten years clearly indicate that more and more people opt for bicycle, train transport, and combined or shared mobility. Even walking became more popular. In 2020, Antwerp had 27% more cyclists than in 2015, and 21% more train travelers between 2014 and 2019.
Waterbus and ferry
Public transport represents between 15 and 25% of all trips and is mostly used for trips to work of more than 30 km. Antwerp also created additional public transport solutions, like the waterbus, the bike bus, and a ferry between the left and right bank of the river Scheldt.
The number of shared mobility providers increased since 2017, and last year, together they represented more than five million rides. Car rides for commuting decreased by 15,6% between 2010 and 2020. Bicycle use, on the other hand, increased by 8,8%.
Car ownership in Antwerp families stagnates while more and more people buy a bike. The e-bike in particular increases in popularity. In 2020, 8% of Flemish citizens used a company bike. Figures from the ANPR cameras reveal that approaching traffic to the city has been declining for some years now. In 2020, traffic congestion was down (-10%) compared to the year before.
Shared mobility, and the shared bikes, in particular, grew very popular in Antwerp. Between 5 000 and 15 000 Antwerp citizens daily use a Velo city bike, depending on the season, the weather, and the day of the week.
The city introduced shared cars in 2005, and the phenomenon is growing ever since. The wider the offer, the more users the shared car platforms see. “Our priority for the coming years is to make public transport more attractive,” Antwerp Alderman for Mobility, Koen Kennis (N-VA) told Belga press agency.
“Public transport lost popularity and has to regain territory. It’s up to De Lijn and NMBS/SNCB, but, as a city, we offer them guidance and facilities, like the creation of mobility junctions, where people can easily transfer to other forms of public transport.”