The first e-bike sharing app in Brussels
With Billy Bike, you don’t need to go looking for designated docking stations. You can just pick up and drop off an e-bike anywhere and everywhere in Brussels. All you need is the Billy Bike app on your smartphone. And with a few clicks, you’ll be good to go.
The power-assist Billy Bikes are loaded up and ready to spin for as far as 50 kilometers and as long as three to four hours. A Billy Bike personnel is always on standby to recharge a bike once its battery level drops below 20 percent. Renting a bike will cost 15 cents per minute, and a maximum of five euros per hour to 25 euros per day.
The Billy Bike app is the brainchild of Belgian entrepreneurs Pierre de Schaetzen and Guillaume Verhaeghe. Pierre says that a total of 150 bikes will be made available in several Brussels communes during the app’s test phase which began this month.
At present, there are already 100 Billy Bikes rolling in the streets of Ixelles, St. Gilles, Etterbeek, and the Brussels city-center. And more will be coming. The e-bike sharing scheme will eventually cover the 19 Brussels communes and even extend to other cities in Belgium, according to Pierre.
The application will be available on app stores in just two months. But for now, those who are interested can log on to the Billy Bike website and register their email address to volunteer as beta testers. Once you receive an email invitation, you will be able to download the app and try it out.
How to Billy Bike around Brussels
European Mobility Week 2017: “Sharing gets you further”
The Billy Bike couldn’t have come at a better time. We’re right in the middle of the European Mobility Week which started last Saturday and ends this Thursday.
This year’s theme revolves around clean, shared, and intelligent mobility under the slogan, “Sharing gets you further.” By using shared forms of transport, we can save money, lower our carbon footprint, and make traveling more sociable.
E-bike sharing schemes like Billy Bike have recently become a worldwide trend. Aside from promoting shared transport, they also make cycling more inclusive, and inclusivity is an important aspect of sustainable mobility.
Compared to traditional bikes, electric bikes can attract a larger number of people since ebiking requires less physical exertion. This is especially important for a city like Brussels where the terrain can be unforgiving. With the use of e-bikes, cycling will be less strenuous and more enjoyable both for experienced and inexperienced bikers.
Billy Bike co-founder Pierre de Schaetzen on shared, inclusive, and accessible bikes for Brussels.
The greatest challenge to sustainable mobility is getting people to change their mentality and habits concerning public transport. Digital apps such as Billy Bike and Scooty are proving helpful. Making alternative modes of transport more interactive, convenient, and inclusive can encourage more people to open their minds. But technology can only do so much. It will still require consistent cooperation and collaboration among concerned sectors and groups to ensure an effective campaign toward sustainable mobility.