Barely three months after they have arrived in Brussels, the apple-green bicycles offered for hire by Gobee.bike, are abandoning the capital. The cause: vandalism and the damage which these two-wheelers have suffered. A new regulatory framework, for such freely available bicycles, should soon put these services on a better legal footing. This is indicated by the Brussels Minister for Mobility, Pascal Smet (sp.a).
The company indicated in a communiqué, “In recent weeks, the vandalism and damage caused to our bicycle fleet reached limits that we can no longer overcome.” The company goes on, “We were ready to take this risk and invest resources, both financial and HR, as well as our time. However, these new bicycles were, once again, vandalized after a few hours.”
The green bikes of GoBee.Bike were, together with the yellow oBikes, until now the only freely available bicycle systems, sharing operation without fixed stands for individual bikes in Brussels. However, from now on, that has come to an end. This is a real setback for Brussels, which under Minister Pascal Smet, wishes to present itself as a cycling city. Mathias Dobbels, the spokesman for Minister Smet, said, “We think it is a great shame, but some players continue to show an interest in coming to set up in Brussels.”
The new regulations, which Minister Smet is working on, should provide greater clarity for the cycle-sharing regime. Moreover, the regulations will request that cycle-sharing companies repair damaged bicycles within 24 hours.