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With the aim of improving air quality in the Brussels-Capital Region, the "Cairgo Bike" project led by Brussels Mobility was set up. This project aims to improve air quality in the capital by encouraging the use of cargo bikes for the transport of goods, but also for the transport of people, for both professionals and private individuals.
Today, road traffic is still responsible for 22% of the CO2 emissions that deplete air quality. Despite the deployment of mobility services and infrastructures, as well as the many actions and awareness campaigns aimed at adopting a softer form of mobility, the car remains a widely used means of locomotion within the capital. Why is this? Notably, because of the means of transport such as the bicycle, unfortunately, do not allow people to carry goods or take their children to school.
This barrier can be overcome with the cargo bike. What's so special about it? It is a 2 or 3-wheeled bicycle with a trailer for transporting material and people. Thanks to it, the people of Brussels can do their shopping, transport objects, and travel with their children.
Every day, more than 16,000 lorries and 26,000 vans are on the road in the Brussels-Capital Region. These journeys for deliveries represent only a small percentage of the total traffic, but they take up a large amount of space, clog up the roads, and are responsible for up to 30% of air pollution due to traffic. Thanks to cargo bikes, professionals will be able to make the "last mile delivery", which means making the last few kilometers of a delivery by bike, to limit the presence of lorries and vans in the city and thus reduce CO2 emissions and the noise generated by them. According to a recent study, 50% of deliveries can be made by cargo bike, so its use on a larger scale can have a considerable impact on improving air quality.
This project is the result of a collaboration between various Brussels actors, both private and public, but also associative and academic, each one bringing its expertise in its field of competence. These players include Brussels Mobility, Brussels Environment, the VUB, Pro Velo, Urbike, Cambio, Remorquable, Brussels Economy and Employment, Parking.brussels, and BePark.
Two of the obstacles to the use of bicycles in general, and of cargo bikes in particular, are their storage and the material damage that could be inflicted on them. It is therefore necessary to free up and open up spaces to make the use of the cargo bike easier and safer. Furthermore, we have to consider that they are quite imposing and occupy a larger place than a regular bike; therefore, it is complicated to park them on the street. Because of this, off-street cargo bike parks create an opportunity to implement cargo bikes without cluttering up the urban space.
BePark's mission will be to provide off-street parking spaces for cargo bikes. These spaces will therefore be located inside private car parks, opened and operated by BePark. In order to be able to provide these spaces, we will develop an installation and software that will allow cargo bikes to have special access within the car parks. The final challenge will be to promote these parking spaces so that users know that it is possible to use the cargo bikes via the BePark system.
BePark has chosen to take part in this project, which perfectly reflects the company's mission and ambition to improve the urban experience by freeing up space, unblocking mobility and reducing the nuisance of car traffic.
The "Cairgo Bike" project, piloted by Bruxelles Mobilité, was created within the framework of the European Regional Development Funds. It is one of the 11 projects selected out of more than 200. The implementation of the project will last 3 years and will be 80% financed by the European Regional Development Funds through the “Urban Innovative Actions” program.