The best mobility apps to get around in Brussels

Download them on your smartphone

The best mobility apps to get around in Brussels

Download them on your smartphone

It’s not always easy to get around Brussels. Fortunately, numerous transport-sharing apps have come to the rescue. There are essential apps for cars, bikes, scooters and taxis – all of which can be downloaded to your smartphone to help you get around Brussels.

Free-floating and multimodal

cars-bikes-traffic

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 by debit or credit card at the end of your journey. 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.

The latest trend? Combining different means of transport to shorten your journey times. To make life easier, there are apps that bring together different service providers and show you the best options for your journey.
Could your smartphone be the best way to avoid the traffic jams? Check out our guide!

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. These 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 10 Interparking locations and at the P3 car park at Zaventem Airport. Parking within the zone is free, provided the spot is legal! They are started keylessly using a code. A ‘B’ driver’s licence is compulsory.

Price: Registration: varying fee, often free of charge with free minutes too. Use: 0.33 euro/min (0.36 euro/min for Mini Cabrio and BMW i3). Possibility of prepaying for 3, 6, 9, 24 or 48 hour periods, for between 34 and 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.

Poppy: the 3-in-1 platform

poppy-shared-cars

As well as providing a fleet of around 300 energy-efficient cars in Brussels (approximately 100) and Antwerp (approximately 200), Poppy lets its members hire sit-down and stand-up e-scooters. It is the only platform to offer three means of transport under the same banner, and also to allow travel between zones (Brussels and Antwerp) in its cars. So you can take a Poppy in Brussels and leave it in Antwerp, and vice-versa. Its vehicles are electric VW Golf and Audi A3 running on natural gas. Zaventem Airport and Heysel are considered part of Brussels.

Price: free registration Use: 0.33 euro/min for cars (or 90 euros/day), 0.25 euro/min for sit-down scooters and 0.25 euro/min for stand-up scooters (+1 euro service fee).

Cool:
- choice of energy-efficient cars
- All-in price
- You don’t have to pay for parking, which is a huge benefit in Brussels!
- no registration fee
- possibility of using cars between Brussels and Antwerp
- the app clearly shows the three types of vehicle available, according to how close they are.
Less cool:
- a Poppy car is still a car… sometimes stuck in Brussels traffic (but then you have the option of a scooter)

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 an zone located in the south-east of Brussels. A class ‘B’ driver’s licence (or class ‘B’ motorbike licence) is required.

Price: Registration of minimum 2.99 euros, maximum 25 euros. Use: 0.26 euro/min. Parking with reservation: 0.07 euro/min

Cool:
- No emissions, no noise
- Get around fast (45 km/h) and effortlessly in Brussels
- Option of keeping your Scooty while parked for 0.07 euro/min
- You may carry a passenger (2 helmets + hairnets)
- 20 minutes free after registering
Less cool:
- Moving around in the Brussels traffic can be hazardous, especially when people can’t hear you coming. So be careful!

Felyx

felyx-shared-scooter

The newcomer to Brussels for free-floating sit-down e-scooters. These keyless sit-down scooters come with two helmets (with hygienic protection) and insurance cover. They are basically available within an zone located in the south-east of Brussels. A class ‘B’ driver’s licence (or class ‘B’ motorbike licence) is required.

Price: Registration: 8 euros. Use: 0.26 euro/min. Parking with reservation: 0.07 euro/min

Cool:
- No emissions, no noise
- Get around fast (45 km/h) and effortlessly in Brussels
- Option of keeping your Felyx while parked for 0.07 euro/min
- You may carry a passenger (2 helmets + hairnets)
- 30 minutes free after registering
Less cool:
- Moving around in the Brussels traffic can be hazardous, especially when people can’t hear you coming. So be careful!

Poppy sit-down scooters

See above in the 'By Car' section

By bike

Here too, the times are changing in Brussels… Traditional shared bikes (of the pedal power type) have all but disappeared from the urban landscape. Electric bikes are increasingly seen as the only option for cyclists looking to get around a city known for its strenuous hills. Billy, the first company on the scene, is still there and has expanded its fleet. The red Jump bikes provided by Uber have made a remarkable entry. Some of the shared Villo! bikes from Decaux, which you pick up and drop off at docking stations, are now electric too. Saddle up!

Billy

billy-bike-brussels

A pioneer in shared electric bikes in Brussels, Billy has improved and expanded its range with new electric cycles, increasing the whole of its fleet to 600 units. They can be recognised by their black frame and blue wheel rims. And with their wide tyres you don’t have to worry about cobbles or rails. Electric assistance is provided up to 25 km/h.

Price: 0.18 euro/min or 0.15 euro/min per 200 min pack (30 euros).

Cool:
- 600 bikes in 14 districts
- No administration fee.
- Possibility of buying a bundle of 200 minutes
Less cool:
- The bikes are quite heavy

Jump

jump-shared-bike

As well as its car ride (Uber X, Black and Van) and meal delivery (Uber Eats) services, Uber now offers a fleet of 500 bright red electric bikes in Brussels, providing assistance up to 25 km/h. You’re sure to be seen in the traffic!

Price: 1 euro basic cost plus 0.15 euro/min.

Cool:
- 500 bikes in 12 districts
- The bikes are light and well-designed, especially from a locking viewpoint.
- The bright colour makes them visible in traffic
- There’s a single app for car rides, bikes and meal delivery
Less cool:
- Prices are higher than with competitors (especially for short journeys).

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 are not activated by an app (you have to take out an annual subscription or buy tickets valid for 1 day or 1 week) but a new app developed by Villo! is making life easier by showing you what’s available nearby. New in October 2019: a third of the fleet is now electric. To use these bikes, as well as an annual subscription you need to rent a battery (4.15 euros/month), and store/recharge it at home.

Price: Various types of subscription are available: annual for 34.70 euros (33.70 euros with Mobib), daily for 1.60 euros or weekly for 8.20 euros. The first half hour is free. The second costs 0.50 euros and the third 1 euro, with any time above this being charged at 2 euros per half hour. e-Villo!: 4.15 euros/month on top of the subscription.

Cool:
- You can find Villo! bikes throughout Brussels!
- More than 1,300 e-Villo! bikes on top of the existing fleet!
- Affordable prices to encourage frequent use
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

Stand-up scooters

You either love them or hate them. But what’s sure is that, in Brussels, the competition is fierce on the shared stand-up electric scooter market. Operators are jostling for space and disappearing no sooner than they’ve arrived! Two have stayed the course:

Dott

businessman-electric-stand-up-scooter

Price: 1 euro basic cost plus 0.19 euro/min (in Brussels).
Cool:
- More comfortable than most scooters in Brussels
Less cool:
-To use an electronic step in the traffic in Brussels stays quiet dangerous

Lime

Price: 1 euro basic cost plus 0.25 euro/min (in Brussels).
Cool:
- You see them everywhere!
Less cool:
- The price is high (same as for a sit-down electric scooter)
- They’re rather uncomfortable on Brussels’ bumpy streets

Poppy stand-up scooters

See above in the 'By Car' section

Stand-up scooters and bikes: safety first and then insurance!

Electric scooters and bikes are not toys and, like any vehicle, must follow the highway code. Helmets are not mandatory but are highly recommended. Using cycle lanes where available can reduce the risks significantly. To ride a stand-up electronic scooter, you must be at least 18 and have a debit or credit card in your name. If you allow a minor to use a stand-up electronic scooter, you are responsible for their actions. In the event of an accident (with a pedestrian or other road user), it’s best to have liability insurance to avoid any problems.

Are you properly insured? Make sure you check!

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!
 

The keys to your travel: a smartphone and credit card!

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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