Tag Archive: commute

  1. More Belgian employees choose to cycle to and from work

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    On the 11th of January 2024 HR services company Acerta published the results of their quarterly Mobility Barometer surveying the commuting habits of 330,000 employees in Belgium. This survey reveals a notable shift in the way of commuting:  the car is losing ground to bicycles. 35.8% of employees occasionally cycle to work. Interestingly, the average commuting distance in Belgium has risen by half a kilometer in just one year, now surpassing 20 kilometers.

    While 23% of Belgian white-collar workers still possess a company car, the car is no longer the sole means of transportation for employees. According to Acerta’s Mobility Barometer, reliance on cars for commuting has decreased from 78.4% in 2021 to 77.9% in 2022. The bicycle is gaining ground, reaching a 35.8% share, and public transportation is also making strides, now utilized by 8.3% of employees, compared to 7.8% in 2021.

    Charlotte Thijs, Acerta’s mobility expert, comments, “There has been a growing awareness regarding transportation choices. Factors such as increasing environmental consciousness, a diverse range of transport options, the boosted image of (electric) bicycles, and recent spikes in fuel prices are influencing employees not to automatically choose cars, indicating a potential decline in the decades-long dominance of automobiles.”

    The most popular combination is that of a car and bicycle, with 19% opting for this mode. Additionally, 15% exclusively choose bicycles. Public transportation users mostly don’t combine it with other modes (5.8%), or if they do, it’s with bicycles (1.2%).

    Charlotte Thijs adds, “The sustained popularity of bicycles in commuting doesn’t come as a surprise. We observe more employers offering bike leases, and there’s an increase in individuals receiving bicycle allowances. Public transportation seems to benefit from various trends, and with more flexible subscription systems catering to remote work, further gains are possible.”

    Source:The data collected are based on a sample of actual salary data from employees working for more than 40,000 employers in the private sector, including both SMEs and large enterprises. The data were collected through the ACERTA Mobility Barometer between 2021 and 2022, providing a representative depiction of the Belgian employee population in the private sector. ACERTA conducts measurements quarterly, and this marks the seventh edition of the study.

  2. Commuting upgrade: Brussels to Leuven cycling highway planned for 2025

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    Source: Mayor.eu, D. Balgaranov

    The new 16km highway (F29) will connect the two cities, providing a safer route for commuters to pursue more sustainable transportation options

    Recently announced by authorities in Belgium, a newly planned bicycle highway will connect the city of Leuven in Flanders to the country’s capital of Brussels. Many in the region already make the journey between the two cities as a part of their daily commute, thus, the project is likely to be positively received.

    The Flemish government aims to make the journey between the cities safer and faster, with construction starting next year and managed by The Werkvennootschap, a public works company. Additionally, the highway will link to the planned Brussels cycling ring, further connecting the wider city.

    Cycling Highways – a growing trend

    Bicycle highways have caught the attention of many governing bodies as of late, with projects announced across multiple regions. The infrastructure aims to handle the growing number of cycling commuters in a safe, efficient way. And, although most cities still do not have enough bike traffic to warrant the massive development, as Munich’s Deputy Mayor Katrin Habenschaden explained in a statement in May 2022: “If you sow cycling highways, you get cyclists.”

  3. QWIC Mira, the e-bike for an active lifestyle

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    On the first day of Eurobike 2022, LEVA-EU member QWIC presented a brand new e-bike, the QWIC Mira. This comfort e-bike has been specially designed to make everyday life easier and more comfortable. With the Mira you can maneuver comfortably through the day.

    The QWIC Mira invites you to go cycling. From functional bike rides to trips through nature, the Mira is versatile.

    Comfort and power

    The high-quality parts of the Mira offer the comfort that we have come to expect from QWIC. The iconic low step-through frame ensures that you can get on and off easily, even with groceries and children on the bike. The powerful QWIC battery (known from the luxurious Premium Q and adventurous Atlas) is positioned in such a way that it can be installed and removed smoothly.

    Versatile e-bike

    With the various cargo options, the Mira is perfect for all kinds of purposes and easy to adapt. Thanks to the sturdy rear carrier, the Mira can carry 27 kg of cargo. The MIK HD click system makes it easy to change accessory. For example, by removing the child seat when you go into town to have a drink.

    Mira Daily & Mira Tour

    The QWIC Mira is available in two versions, the Daily and the Tour version. The Daily is the perfect bike for all daily activities. This version comes with a powerful 65Nm motor and chain drive. The QWIC Mira Tour gives you just that little bit of extra comfort you need for longer distances and hilly terrain thanks to an even more powerful motor (80Nm) and belt drive.

    Both models are available in Jet Black color. The Mira Daily also has a fresh Sage Green version and the Mira Tour is available in the elegant Desert Copper color.

    QWIC Dealer Shows

    QWIC dealers can experience the QWIC Mira for themselves during the QWIC Dealer Shows in August and September in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. All technical questions about this new model will also be answered.

    Prices and options

    The QWIC Mira Daily is for sale for €3,499 and the price of the QWIC Mira Tour is €4,099. The Mira comes standard with a 522 Wh battery and an optional 756 Wh battery is available (surcharge €420). Other options include the QWIC charging station (€299) and GPS connectivity (€199).

    For sale

    Delivery of the QWIC Mira will start in the fourth quarter of 2022.

  4. Research: Analysis of initial speed pedelec usage for commuting purposes in Flanders

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    Source: Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives

    New research by Herteleer et al. provides insight into commuter patterns in Flanders, Belgium

    The full research paper may be accessed here. The abstract below provides a synopsis of the researchers’ findings:

    “Speed pedelecs, pedal-powered two-wheelers with motor assistance up to 45 km/h, are relatively new vehicles for active travel on European roads, with Flanders at the forefront of adoption. Policies by European and national entities have allowed speed pedelecs to be used, yet the policies have been based on assumptions and modelling about speeds reached, rather than measured data. This paper presents an analysis of naturalistic speed pedelec behaviour by 98 individuals at 10 companies in Flanders, who logged commuting and leisure rides with smartphone GPS during three-week test periods as part of the 365SNEL project using fifteen-speed pedelecs, ranging in motor power from 250 W to 800 W. The cruising speed, the speed at which the largest distance is covered, and the 95th percentile (P95) speed (as a realistic maximum speed) are proposed as Key Performance Indicators to better evaluate speed pedelec behaviour. Cruising speeds for men were consistently higher than for women (mean values: men 38.2 km /h, women 33.5 km /h). For all participants, the mean commuting P95 speed of 40.1 km/h is 5 km/h below the expected 45 km/h, which points to potential over-regulation of speed pedelecs according to their expected maximum speed. Contrasting logged commuting cycling trips with leisure trips indicates that speed pedelecs can be characterised by their speed metrics, regardless of their travel purpose. Policymakers can therefore facilitate active travel with its commensurate physical and mental health benefits by investing in and designating routes for higher-speed (active) travel, and conversely reserve other routes for slower travel modes.

  5. Belgian (e)cycling commuters can earn up to € 0.25 per km

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    As of 1 January 2022, commuters in Belgium who use a cycle, electric cycle or speed pedelec may receive up to € 0.25. Last year, the maximum allowance was € 0.24. “May” because there is no legal obligation for the employer to pay this extra. Recently however, the trade unions and employers in the joint committee for clerks, which covers 350,000 employees, agreed on a compulsory cycling allowance. The quarter Euro per km is free of tax and social security. Not all employers offer this maximum. If you work for Flanders Education you only get € 0.15, whilst the Flemish Region pays € 0.21.

    In 2021, COVID-19 resulted in less cycling for commuting than in 2020 and in 2019, pre-corona. SD Worx, the biggest wage calculator in Belgium, was able to conclude this from the wage calculations of employees in the private sector. The decrease is mainly due to white-collar workers, who often had to work from home. There is a slight increase among labourers. The average amount per cyclist increased. From this SD Worx infer that especially those who live further from work continued to cycle to work in 2021.

    In recent years there has been a constant increase in Belgium in the number of cycling employees who benefit from the cycling allowance. Their numbers peak during the summer months and decrease during the winter months. They still prefer to cycle in ideal weather conditions. The SD Worx data only concerns employees who (partly) commute by (e)cycle and effectively receive the allowance. The total number of cycling commuters is probably much higher. The year 2020 started as a strong ‘cycling year’, but eventually there was a decline, which continued into 2021.

    Veerle Michiels, mobility expert at SD Worx: “In 2021, one in seven employees (14%)  received the cycling allowance. That is a decrease of one third: pre-corona it was almost one in four (22%). The median amount per cyclist per year increased from €73.92 in 2019 to €91.20 in 2020. However, it fell again to €76.80 (for the first 8 months of 2021). The allowance is a great incentive to get employees on their (e)cycles.

    Last year, the province of Eastern Flanders had the highest number of (e)cycling commuters with an allowance, i.e. 23%. The decrease was the worst in the province of Flemish Brabant, from 18.5% (2019) to 8.7%, whilst in Brussels it dropped from 11.8% to 6.7%. The (e)cycling allowance is a lot less popular in the Walloon area, where only 10% of the employers participate. Overall, the measure is best established among large companies and the least common among companies with less than 20 employees.

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