Brussels Platforms offering self-service bikes with no fixed parking points will be made responsible for the security and distribution of their bicycles. They will also have to manage any issues their bicycles create themselves, De Standaard reported on Saturday.
At the end of September, a large number of communal bicycles that could be left wherever the user liked when they had finished with them suddenly appeared in Brussels streets. They are owned by oBike. Since then, GoBee bike has also started offering the same service. There are now 700 self-service bicycles available in total. A third company is in their test phase.
This system, which is different to Villo! where you have to leave the bicycles at specific stations, creates a lot of frustration. The Brussels Mobility Minister Pascal Smet did not even know about them beforehand.
The regional government has just adopted a regulation system for these communal bicycle services – a first for Europe. It will come into effect early in 2018. It aims to prevent problems and pollution in public areas.
Every bicycle must meet the technical requirements for safety and comfort, such as having good lights and mud-guards. People will no longer be able to leave the bicycles in certain areas of the capital, such as the Grand-Place. There will also be limit to how many bicycles can be left in some areas, like near stations for example.