Cambio car-sharing service blooms in Brussels as competitors stagger
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    Cambio car-sharing service blooms in Brussels as competitors stagger

    The car-sharing service has grown its user base in Brussels at the same time as its main competitors cease operations. Credit: © Belga

    Car-sharing scheme Cambio made meaningful strides in 2019, dealing significant blows to its competitors in Brussels as it grew its user base in the capital by 12%.

    The car-sharing firm is entering its 16th year of service and last year it reached the 500,000-journey milestone and saw the number of rides logged rise by 16% across Belgium, according to BX1.

    With a 530-car fleet and around 16,500 customers, the firm is securing its grip on the capital’s mobility market, with Brussels director Frederic Van Malleghem noting that the share of users in the city grew last year by 12%.

    Van Malleghem said that the firm’s popularity was boosted by the rise of shared and greener mobility alternatives, which have flourished in all forms in the Belgian capital.

    “People prefer to use all kinds of transport modes, such as the bicycle, public transport, the scooter and Cambio, than to bear the heavy cost of having their own car,” Van Malleghem told Bruzz, adding that it was become “increasingly easier” to navigate the capital without owning a car.

    The scheme’s success in Brussels has coincided with its main competitors’ choice to pull back from the market, in the image of car-sharing firm Zipcar, which announced in November it would cease operating from February, and which Van Malleghem said would soon be followed by Drivenow, which was struggling to break even in 2018.

    “Soon only Poppy will remain, and that will certainly be to our advantage,” Van Malleghem said, referring to an Antwerp-based car-sharing service which recently announced its entry to the Brussels market, after buying out Zipcar.

    In a working partnership with public transport operator STIB/MIVB, Cambio is expecting to grow its operations by 10 to 15% in 2020, by launching its own app and by beefing up its electric car fleet, the company said.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times