About this good practice
THE PROBLEM: Too many cars and other motorized vehicles in the city center.
METHOD: Focus on the modal shift and continuously working on prioritising micromobility. This is very important, especially if you know that 95% of the time, private cars are unused and take up A LOT of public space. So on the one hand: focus on micromobility, on the other hand focus on shared mobility- only one shared car can replace more or less 8 privately owned cars.
Shared mobility is a more sustainable way of using transport and it is also more affordable, more inclusive towards low income households. In Mechelen there are both commercial and community driven shared mobility providers.
Through several incentives financed by the city of Mechelen, the “mobility budget”: handing in a license plate (=selling your private car) entitles citizens to a refund for bike purchase or shared mobility subscriptions, subvention for e-cars: when you share your new e-car, you are entitled to a refund of up to 3000 euro or the city pays for your subscription with a community driven sharing platform.
Apart from the financial incentives, there are information sessions, free test drives with a shared e-car, sharing neighbourhoods, free parking for shared cars, reserved parking spots,…
The promotional campaign “Sharing is for everybody”- through videos, informational posters, social media campaign.
971.525 euro for three years, this includes the vehicles, support, communication and branding, parking spots, financial incentives for citizens, charging stations, etc.
Evidence of success
• 260+ applications for a shared cargo bike in different neighbourhoods
• 21 applications (in 2021) from entrepreneurs for financial support for cargo bikes
• In 2021, 78 citizens of the city of Mechelen changed their car license for a mobility budget
• Launch of Poppy (shared mobility): 421 new members in the first 2 months after launch
Potential for learning or transfer
The practice invites citizens to reflect on their personal impact and in the meanwhile giving them a financial solution to reduce their impact on pollution by transportation and traffic. It can be implemented in any urban context aiming to reduce motorized vehicles and promoting shared mobility, which is not only good for the air quality and safety in the city centre, but also a more affordable way of transportation for every citizen.