Brussels Officials Want Commuters to 'Hitchhike' to Work

Officials in Brussels, Belgium, are developing a scheme to encourage 'hitchhiking' as part of a broader 'Good Move' agenda aimed at reducing car usage in the city, according to reports.

Brussels Minister for Mobility Elke Van Den Brandt (Green party) says she hopes to soon launch an app that would link commuters who need rides with drivers who would like to share their vehicles with strangers in order to cut down on 'one-passenger car' trips.

"Helped by technology, the app would also reduce worries and increase safety, as some drivers do not always want to take a stranger with them in their cars," the Brussels Times reports.

MP Julien Uyttendaele (Socialist party) backs the effort, and says he intends for the 'service' to stand apart from market-driven ridesharing apps like Uber.

"The goal here is not to have a business logic like BlaBlaCar or Uber Pop, but to offer an app that would allow drivers to get in touch with passengers who want to share part of their journey for free. This proposal could conveniently find its place in the MaaS (Mobility as a Service) proposed in the 2020-2030 mobility plan," Uyttendaele said.

"All forms of mobility should be encouraged, which is still not the case for free ridesharing. I will shortly table a motion of resolution on this subject at the Brussels Parliament."

Brussels officially adopted the 'Good Move' regional mobility plan earlier this year.

Officials claim the scheme will promote 'safety' and a more 'sustainable' transportation model by encouraging cycling and walking, reducing car traffic and available parking, and increasing usage of public transit.

"By 2030, this plan should have reduced the use of cars by 25%, increased the number of passengers on public transports by 11% and multiplied by four the share of bicycles for internal trips," New Mobility reported in April. "It will create 50 neighborhoods with low car traffic, a 30 kph speed limit and where transit traffic is discouraged."

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Dan Lyman serves as a foreign correspondent for Infowars.
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