Jump e-bikes return to Brussels excluded neighbourhoods

Jump e-bikes return to Brussels excluded neighbourhoods
Credit: The Brussels Times

The relaunch of Jump e-bikes in Brussels on Friday has brought positive news for Brussels municipalities previously excluded from the service, with the confirmation that new owner Lime will undo the decision not to allow the bikes to be parked in certain parts of the region.

Jump bikes - previously owned by Uber - saw wide usage across the Brussels region, but were phased out of Anderlecht, Koekelberg, Molenbeek and Laeken in September 2019 citing vandalism as the main concern.

This, however, is no longer the case with the relaunched service - which will be adapting to cover "corridor" roads and lanes that allow cyclists to travel between neighbourhoods and areas.

"Covering the main bicycle lanes, but not entire neighbourhoods, will encourage the right behaviour," Benjamin Barnathan, Lime’s General Manager in Belgium, told The Brussels Times. Not only is this strategy easier in terms of operation for the company, but "this way, our bikes do not end up in the crazy little streets."

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As it stands, Lime has relaunched an initial fleet of 500 e-bikes in the city, and will progressively deploy more bikes in the Capital Region, based on the demand. The company will monitor how people behave and how sustainable it is, "but the usage remains the most important parameter," he said.

"Currently, our main service zone is the city," Barnathan said. "Some areas are not covered yet, but we intend to cover the main roads and bicycle lanes as the demand grows."

Additionally, a solution for the vandalism, which mainly concerned broken locks and stolen bikes, has been found. "All the bikes that we are relaunching have been outfitted with anti-theft equipment on the back wheel, that prevents people from hacking the lock and riding without the engine," Barnathan said.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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