Deloitte Global City Mobility Index: Brussels

Only 5% walk or bike, spend 41 hours/year in congestion

Brussels has a well-developed public transit network. However, insufficient coverage leads to high use of cars, increased traffic congestion and reduced air quality. Having multiple stakeholders has hindered progress but public and private players are increasingly cooperating to address challenges. Exploring shared hire schemes and reducing incentives to supply company cars, expanding public transit network coverage and improving intermodal connectivity between regions, and harnessing data and using analytics to implement real-time traffic and demand management are key to realising the Future of Mobility.

Cars edge out public transport

The share of private vehicle journeys in Brussels is 47 percent, just one percent below public transport. This is high compared to our neighbouring capitals Amsterdam, Paris and London where private vehicle journeys reach 20, 25 and 37 percent respectively.

Belgium is a small country that facilitates a private car commuting culture. Given the prevalence of company cars, changing public behaviour will be a challenge. However, Brussels has already taken steps to try to reduce its air pollution by banning old diesel cars from the city centre.

The city achieves a high rating in terms of environmental sustainability in part due to the fact that it is fairly well developed in terms of the number of bicycle lanes compared to other cities in the Deloitte City Mobility Index.

Very few choose to walk or bike

The addition of bicycle lanes has, so far, not had an impact on the number of people choosing to bike. While walking and cycling account for 61 percent of journeys in Amsterdam, in Brussels its only 5 percent, with 3 percent walking and 2 percent cycling. Walking and cycling are most prevalent in Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and Helsinki—all northern European cities.

People who live in Brussels spend 41 hours/year in congestion, compared to 26.5 hours in Amsterdam, 65.3 hours in Paris and 73 hours in London.

Improving public transit options

While Brussels’s public transit system does moderately well in terms of ease of use and accessibility, it needs to focus on integrating ticketing options across different modes of transport. STIB does make it easy for people to use public transport by providing integrated ticketing and payment options, but they are not integrated across the urban region with all the other transit authorities present in the area.

Of the 350,000 people commuting into Brussels every day, more than 200,000 drive, which affects traffic congestion and air quality in the urban region in and around the city.

About the Deloitte City Mobility Index

The Deloitte City Mobility Index is a comprehensive review that assesses major cities on key aspects of mobility and readiness for future mobility solutions (the Future of Mobility). It covers three thematic areas – performance and resilience, vision and leadership, service and inclusion – to gauge whether the transport networks move citizens efficiently, inclusively, sustainably, and in an integrated way, and how forward-thinking and effective the various government bodies are in delivering quality mobility.

Drawing on publicly available data, client conversations, and Deloitte UK’s own analysis, it covers over 60 individual parameters. A total of 18 cities from across the globe will be released in the first wave, selected to represent a variety of sizes by population and area, geography and levels of economic development. An analysis of more than 20 cities is slated to follow and results will be updated annually thereafter.

Explore the full interactive index

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