Brussels Bumps Up Bonus to Forgo Cars

Brussels, Belgium

A sustainable transport initiative in the Belgian capital Brussels has almost doubled its bonus to residents who don’t renew their car registration, as part of a revitalisation of the Bruxell’air mobility bonus.

The maximum payment increased from €500 (A$733) to €900 (A$1319), with payments calculated on a sliding scale based on residents’ annual income.

Individuals and households with lower incomes received a higher payment, while people with disability receive the highest amount of €900 regardless of their income.

Recipients can choose what they spend their bonus on, such as bicycle equipment worth up to €230 (A$337), a one-year public transport subscription or a subscription for a car-sharing or a bike-sharing service. Any amount not spent on transportation needs must be returned to the city authority.

The Brussels Regional Public Service last month launched the revamped Bruxell’air, to get more people to ditch their personal cars and switch to less carbon-intensive modes of transportation in the city.

Bruxell’air was established in 2006 and continues to focus on getting people to adopt modes of transport other than personal cars.

As part of last month’s relaunch, it was also announced the program would now be supervised by 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,” according to the announcement.

“The fund has had moderate success in attracting new recipients over the years.”

Nine hundred people received the bonus in 2018 and that number jumped to 1,200 in 2019 and 1,049 in 2020.

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