Vias Institute's latest research reveals new mobility trends in Belgium

Great news! Vias Institute's latest research reveals new mobility trends in Belgium. Their 'Mobility Barometer' shows how the current context has thoroughly shaken up our travel behaviour, leading us to ignore public transport in favour of shared travel options.

The Vias Institute has published its new 'Mobility Barometer' covering a sample of 8,000 people living in Belgium in the months of January to June of 2022. The data revealed some very interesting insights regarding our current approach to how we move around our cities. Indeed, compared to the same period before the COVID-19 pandemic, the carpool share has increased by 38%, a notable increase in the use of these services.

As to what can explain this unique trend, one can only turn to the current economic context in which we find ourselves in Europe: fuel prices have reached unprecedented heights, and people much prefer turning to carpooling as a more cost-effective alternative. Moreover, driving a car, in general, has become less popular, with the research showing that of the total distance we drive, only 50% is done as car drivers, going down from the 55% proportion of the past five years.

A newfound taste for alternative modes of transport...

What the data also reveals is that different types of mobility have become much more popular compared not just to car driving, but also to public transport. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected how we perceive trains, buses and the like, seen as a potential health risk. Instead, people are increasingly turning to bicycles as an alternative to moving around the city, with the proportion of miles travelled on an electric bike going up almost twice as much in comparison to 2017, from 1.3 to 1.4%.

What is also striking is that this trend does not go at the expense of traditional bicycles, with their use increasing by 17% compared to 2021, with particular peaks in the months of March, April and May due to the weather.

...and for staying at home

The last option that people in Belgium are considering more and more is, very simply, to not move at all. Staying at home emerges as a noteworthy tendency, despite the COVID-19 crisis lessening. Indeed, an average of 13% of respondents said they had not gone anywhere the previous day.

As shared mobility options continue to improve and become part of our daily lives, we can only hope that these trends will remain, not just in Belgium but in the rest of Europe as well. Indeed, one only has to look at Fluctuo's latest European Shared Mobility Index to see that, despite socioeconomic difficulties, shared transport is here to stay.

You can see the full Vias Mobility Barometer here.