E-Scooters are taking over Brussels
Beautiful days are back, the sun is shining and you’re planning on having a drink with friends. You’re getting ready and once you step outside, you don’t feel like taking the car (let’s face it, Brussels became a real traffic jungle) nor the bus. You turn your head and see multiple e-scooters ready to take you out on adventures. No time to waist, you use your smartphone, get your e-scooter ready with the appropriate app and you’re on your way.
With the massive success of e-scooters in Brussels, it might be time to revise your traffic code and see what’s up.
Because e-scooters are easily available, it doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want on the road. When they started popping in Brussels, it was pure chaos because there wasn’t any proper rules and we knew few things about how safe these machines are (or not).
Here is a friendly reminder from Brussels mobility combined with new rules:
- Age restriction: people younger than 15 years old are not allowed to use e-scooters;
- Speed limit: 25km/h;
- Pavement: fully forbidden, unless there’s a sign indicating what to do in a pedestrian area (6km/h);
- One person, one e-scooter;
- Parking: some parkings spots dedicated to e-scooters might appear in the near future, but in the meantime, make sure that they’re not in the way and people can still walk around without tripping over them;
- On the road: drive on the cycle path and watch out for the blind spots of any other vehicles.
As a final tip, please don’t underestimate the danger while driving an e-scooter, you’re not invincible. Consider wearing a bicycle helmet at all times and a high-visibility jacket, you never know what might happen.
Public Transports vs E-scooters
For the past few months, friends of mine have been debating about either get a bike, take public transports or invest in a brand new e-scooter.
When you look up for subscriptions at the Stib/Mivb, the basic one is 49eur/month or 499eur for a whole year. Plus, you have to take into account the price for the card itself and not forget to renew your subscription. One big argument against public transports is the constant timing dependency, pushing you to run to the stop in the hopes of getting a bus or a tramway in order to arrive on time. Furthermore Brussels is getting known for unannounced roadworks, traffic jams, delays… Turning the whole city into a traffic jungle.
In comparison, you have good quality e-scooters ranging from 500eur to more than 1,000eur. If you have a warranty and everything goes well, it’s a one time purchase giving you full freedom. However, you have nothing to protect you from the rain, you’re more exposed to potential dangers and some people argue that the technology behind e-scooters is not the best for the environment.
At the end of the day, it’s really up to you to decide how you want to move around in the city (even though the government doesn’t make things easy for cars). Brussels is changing with new cycle paths, updated metro’s and trains, hybrid busses… Just don’t forget to stay focused and safe on your way to your next apéro!