Want to get around Brussels more easily?

Here are some smartphone apps you need to download!

Want to get around Brussels more easily?

Here are some smartphone apps you need to download!

You don’t have to be a local to realise how difficult it can be to move around in our capital city. The good news is that your smartphone and a few useful apps can make you a lot more mobile. For every wallet and every kind of transport. It’s not Brussels if it’s not on the move!

Multimodal transport rules in Brussels

cars-bikes-traffic

People in Brussels can choose all kinds of transport to get around the city. Several new services have been launched in recent months, virtually all of which can be accessed via a smartphone app. Or which have an app to make them easier to use. Simply combine them to get around Brussels more easily. Could your smartphone be the best way to avoid the traffic jams? Check out our guide!

Free-floating on the up

‘Free-floating’ is where you use shared vehicles (bikes, scooters, cars, etc.) by picking them up and dropping them off anywhere within a designated zone. It’s all managed by a smartphone app: finding a vehicle, unlocking it and paying for it automatically via your credit card. Once your registration has been approved (checking your credit card details and, where relevant, your driver’s licence), your account will be activated and you can start using the service. The whole thing mostly takes less than an hour.

Stand-up scooters

Troty

businessman-electric-stand-up-scooter

Free-floating shared electric stand-up scooters. This service was launched in Brussels in June 2018, so the number of scooters and the zone in which you can use them are still limited (a loop taking in the European Quarter, Cinquantenaire Park, Montgomery, ULB-VUB, Avenue Louise and the Inner Ring). If it proves successful, though, it’s safe to assume that the Troty will carve out a place for itself in the Brussels traffic.

Price: 1 euro basic cost plus 15 cents/min.

Cool:
- Threading through the traffic on a scooter that can do 25 kph is a lot of fun!
- If you drop off your Troty at a partner (including shops, cafés and car parks) you get five minutes free:
Less cool:
- The offering is very limited at this point (around 50 scooters) and the zone is small
- Using the scooter in traffic can still be a bit hazardous...

By bike

Billy

billy-bike-brussels

Free-floating shared electric cycles. 150 bikes currently available within a limited zone to the south-east of Brussels, although this is growing. Black bikes identifiable from their blue-ringed wheels.

Price: free registration Use: 15 cents/min. with a maximum of 5 euros per hour and 25 euros per day.

Cool:
- Thanks to the electric assistance, you will forget just how hilly Brussels can be
Less cool:
- The usage zone and number of bikes are still limited, although the fleet is due to double in size in 2019
- The bikes are heavy and tricky to manoeuvre at low speeds or in traffic

oBike

Same system as Billy, except the bikes aren’t electric. Around 900 yellow cycles are available through a free-floating self-service in Brussels (centre and outskirts).

Price: oBike rates are linked to a points system to encourage considerate use of the bikes. If you maintain a positive points balance, the base rate is 50 cents per half hour. A refundable deposit has to be paid on registration. Registration itself is free of charge.

Cool:
- The points system rewards civic-minded users and reduces the price of travel
Less cool:
- The bikes are quite heavy for use on hills and in traffic

Villo!

villo-brussels

Shared bikes that you pick up and drop off at docking stations. This is the biggest service of its kind in Brussels, with 5 000 bikes and 360 docking points. The bikes aren’t activated by an app (you need to take an annual subscription and the tickets are valid for one or seven days), but there is an app to help you find the nearest docking station and to show availability for collection and drop-off. Villo! has announced that a third of its fleet will be electrified by mid-2019, with a battery you rent for a year and keep/recharge at home.

Price: Various types of subscription are available (annual for 34.70 euros, with Mobib for 33.70 euros, daily for 1.60 euros or seven days for 8.20 euros). The first half hour is free. The second costs 50 cents, the third 1 euro and subsequent half hours 2 euros.

Cool:
- You can find Villo! bikes throughout Brussels!
- Thousands of electric Villo! bikes have been announced by summer 2019
Less cool:
- Fairly heavy bikes
- Lots of Villo! bikes are taken into the city centre but don’t find their way out again, causing availability problems.
- Unwieldy subscription system

Sit-down scooters

Scooty

scooty-brussels

Free-floating shared electric scooters. These keyless sit-down scooters come with two helmets (with hygienic protection) and insurance cover. They are basically available within a zone located in the south-east of Brussels. A ‘B’ driver’s licence is compulsory.

Price: Registration: 2.99 euros. Use: 25 cents/min.

Cool:
- No emissions, no noise
- Get around fast (45 kph) and effortlessly in Brussels
- Option of keeping your Scooty while parked for 1.5 euros per half hour
- You can take a passenger
Less cool:
- Moving around in the Brussels traffic can be hazardous, especially when people can’t hear you coming. So be careful!

By car

DriveNow

drivenow-brussels

Over 300 free-floating shared cars. The fleet of BMWs and Minis is insured and fuel is included in the usage price. The cars are basically available within a zone covering a growing proportion of the 19 districts of Brussels plus the Airport (with a unique "Drive 'n Fly" surcharge of 10 euros) and the Atomium. The parking card in the car allows you to park free at ten Interparking locations and at the P3 car park at Zaventem Airport! They are started keylessly using a code. Parking within the zone is free, provided the spot is legal! A ‘B’ driver’s licence is compulsory.

Price: Registration: varying fee, often free of charge with free minutes too. Use: 33 cents/min. Possibility to book a prepaid use for 3, 6, 9, 24 and 48 hours, from 34 to 159 euros.

Cool:
- Choice of nice cars: Mini Cabrio, BMW i3 electric, etc. all of which have their own name!
- All-in price
- You don’t have to pay for parking, which is a huge benefit in Brussels!
- Chance to qualify for free minutes (by refuelling, introducing friends, etc.)
Less cool:
- A DriveNow car is still a car, so you have to deal with the congestion in Brussels.

Zipcar

zipcar-brussels

Free-floating shared cars. The fleet of Peugeot 208s is insured and fuel is included in the usage price. The cars are basically available within a zone covering a growing proportion of the 19 districts of Brussels plus the Airport (with parking surcharge) and the Atomium. The Pcard parking ticket in the car allows you to park free at ten Interparking locations and at the P3 car park at Zaventem Airport (with a 10 euro surcharge)! A ‘B’ driver’s licence is compulsory.

Price: Registration: often free of charge, with free minutes too. Use: 25 cents/min., 11 euros/hour or 69 euros/day.

Cool:
- All-in price
- You don’t have to pay for parking, which is a huge benefit in Brussels!
- Chance to qualify for free minutes (by refuelling, introducing friends, etc.)
Less cool:
- A Zipcar is still a car, so you have to deal with the congestion in Brussels.

Car ride services

Uber

Similar service to the traditional taxi, but controlled entirely by an app. When ordering a ride, you enter your destination and the app identifies your location and dispatches a driver to it (or to a different address if you prefer). You are notified in advance of the estimated price. It’s easy to spot your driver: you know the model of car, its colour, number plate and even a photo, the driver’s name and their approval rating. On arrival, you don’t have to pay anything: the ride is automatically billed by the app and charged to your credit card. All you have to do is rate your driver and the quality of the service.

Price: the app calculates the estimated price of the journey in advance. This could be higher during periods of peak demand (surge pricing). You are told the multiplier and can choose whether to book or wait until later.

Cool:
- No phone call, no money changes hands: it’s all done by the app
- Available 24/7
- Driver ratings encourage service quality.
Less cool:
- Prices increase when demand is high

Victor Cab

victor-cab-brussels

This Brussels rival to Uber was launched in June 2018 by the head of a taxi firm. The platform offers the same benefits as Uber (ordering by app, ride price known in advance, payment by app, etc.) with the same price zones. There are slight differences, in that you can also pay by bankcard or even in cash. Prices are a bit higher than Uber’s, but they are fixed by the meter and don’t increase during peak demand.

Price: the app calculates the estimated price of the journey in advance.

Cool:
- No phone call, no money changes hands: it’s all done by the app
- Around 500 drivers available 24/7 with a choice of several types of vehicle, including wheelchair-accessible ones
- You can hail a Victor Cab in the street by making a ‘V for Victory’ sign!
Less cool:
- Frequently long waiting times for wheelchair-accessible vehicles

Collecto

Shared night taxi service available every day between 11 pm and 6 am throughout the Brussels-Capital Region. It is operated by a group of traditional taxis and transports several passengers at a time who wish to make the same journey. Pick-up is at a fixed time at specific locations (200 points, mostly STIB bus stops). They are identified by Collecto signs and can be found using the app, which also lets you reserve and identify your taxi. You can then have yourself dropped off at your chosen destination for a very affordable price.

Price: six euros per person per journey (five euros if you have a MOBIB card)

Cool:
- Affordable price for getting home safely at night
Less cool:
- Fixed pick-up points and times (similar to public transport)

The one number-one, all-in-one solution!

Forget Rome, all roads lead to Joyn Joyn

Ever wished you had an interactive guide on your mobile to tell you the best way of getting around town, in real time? Well, here it is: Joyn Joyn, a start-up at the StartIT@KBC incubator. The app looks at your needs, weighs up the options and tells you how best to get to where you need to be in Brussels. Combining public transport, taxis and shared bikes, cars and scooters. Plus help with parking. And, like its forerunner apps, Joyn Joyn lets you pay direct for your entire trip, without fiddling for cash.
What it costs: sign-up is free. When you use it: you pay the standard fares and fees charged by each facility.
Cool:
- the comprehensive approach to optimising all your urban travel in the capital
- solutions are personalised to suit your preferences
Less cool:
- nothing! Joyn Joyn's so cool, you've arrived before you even set off!
 

Choose your credit card at KBC Brussels

Most of the apps that let you use or hire shared transport require a credit card. Don’t have one yet? Choose from the range offered by KBC Brussels!

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