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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article2 February 2018

City of Antwerp welcomes new free-floating car sharing scheme

On January 15, start-up Poppy launched an environmentally friendly car sharing scheme. The new car sharing platform introduced a fleet of 350 electric and CNG vehicles based on a free-floating principle. This means cars do not have to be collected from and returned to fixed stations.

Car sharing can offer several advantages to its users. On the one hand, it allows them to save on the fixed monthly costs for car insurance, tax and maintenance. In addition, users do not pay subscription or monthly fees, but are charged per minute. Users will pay 33 Eurocent per minute for driving and 10 Eurocent per minute when parking and keeping the car reserved. The maximum fee is 90 Euro for 24 hours. On the other hand, shared cars can be complementary to public transport, making users more independent from timetables and providing access to places that are difficult to reach with public transport.

Antwerp’s City Council supports car sharing. “Car sharing allows an efficient use of parking space”, says Koen Kennis (N-VA), Antwerp’s alderman for Mobility. “One shared car can replace up to ten private cars, reducing the pressure on public parking space. In addition, car sharing will also make people more conscious of their travel behaviour and enables sustainable mobility.”

The new car sharing platform has been tested in recent months with a fleet of 30 cars. After a successful test period, it has launched officially with 350 cars, offering the largest shared car fleet in a single city in Belgium. The fact that it operates on the free-floating principle is new to Antwerp. Users can locate a car and open it by using an mobile application. After using the car, drivers can return it to any public parking space within the Antwerp region and Poppy cars are exempted from public parking fees. The platform aims to always have a car available within walking distance and redistributes non-reserved cars to ensure balanced coverage throughout the city.

Currently the car sharing platform only operates in Antwerp and some of its districts, but it is expected the platform will extend its operations to other Belgian cities in the near future.


Source: story first published by Poppy press release /  mynewsdesk.com on 13 January 2018

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Publication date
2 February 2018
Topic
Collective passenger transport
Country
Belgium