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The bike has never been more attractive than when it is subsidized from the city

Brussels offers up to 900 euros to people willing to ditch their cars

Brussels offers up to 900 euros to people willing to ditch their cars

The new and improved Bruxell’air mobility bonus will allow citizens an easier transition to sustainable mobility

On Monday, authorities in Brussels Capital Region announced the launch of their revamped sustainable mobility bonus for citizens, called Bruxell’air. The idea behind the move is to get more people to ditch their personal cars and switch to less carbon-intensive modes of transportation in the city.

Bruxell’air offers a bonus of up to 900 euros to every citizen who cancels their car registration with the local authorities and applies for the bonus. The idea is that that money can then be used to buy bicycle equipment, a subscription to public transport or a car-sharing service.  

Changing people’s habits since 2006

Originally, Bruxell’air was created in 2006 and its idea has not changed – getting people to adopt different modes of transportation apart from the personal car. However, recently it has gone through some tweaks, most notably, the bonus has been nearly doubled, from 500 euros to 900 euros.

At the same time, Bruxell’air will no longer help citizens if their vehicle was damaged. Previously, they offered around 1,000 euros to cover the damage.

Another change is that now the whole programme will be under the supervision of the city’s environmental authorities. They will also be responsible for fraud as there have been cases of people reinstating their car registration after they have received the funds.

The fund has had moderate success in attracting new recipients over the years. In 2018, 900 people received the bonus. That number jumped to 1,200 in 2019 and 1,049 in 2020. Last year saw a bit of a slump in terms of applications, however, authorities attribute that to the system going through restructuring and being suspended for a few months.

Who can get what from Bruxell’air

The bonuses will be distributed based on the yearly income of the individual or household, being higher for lower earners. At the same time, people with disabilities will receive the highest amount of 900 euros regardless of their income.

This is also the bonus for people earning below 37,600 euros per year or for cohabitants and couples earning 52,600 euros. The premium drops to 700 euros for single people earning between 37,600 and 75,100 and cohabitants earning between 52,600 and 90,100 euros per year. Higher earners will be entitled to 500 euros.

Moreover, once people receive their bonus they can choose what to spend it on, including bicycle equipment for up to 230 euros, a one-year public transport subscription or a subscription for a car-sharing or a bike-sharing service. Notably, any amount that is not spent on transportation needs to be returned to the city.

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