Motorbike taxis arrive in Brussels

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The good news is that a taxibike will get you to your destination more quickly. If there’s a traffic jam, the buses and cars will get stuck, but the bikes will sail on through. The only drawback is that passengers taking a motorbike taxi in Brussels will have to wear safety gear.

A ride will cost around 20 euros, the same as the fare of a conventional taxi journey. “

The bikes have hybrid engines. This means that they can run on electricity and will produce less CO2.

Flemish Transport Minister Brigitte Grouwels has been backing the deal: “We think there will certainly be a clientele for this mode of conveyance, especially among the more adventurous. We believe that businesspeople who want to travel about quickly in the city will use it too.”

“We also think motorbike taxis will attract customers who don’t use conventional cabs. I don’t think it’s extra competition. We’re just broadening the market.”

Motor taxi drivers have had to pass a special test to show their skills.

Popular reaction to the project has not been universally positive however. One ‘conventional’ taxi driver said: “This is fine in India or Afghanistan where there is little space. Here in Belgium there’s enough room for a car. I can’t see business types in a suit kitting themselves out in the safety gear.”

Some raise concern that it might be more dangerous on two rather than four wheels because drivers in Brussels aren’t used to taking account of bikes.