On March 12th 2020, Autodelen.net organised the first Flemish Network day on eHUBS and Shared Mobility together with Mobipunt vzw, the province of Vlaams-Brabant and Interleuven. Around 100 local politicians and civil servants attended this event and were inspired by shared mobility experts. The main goal was to activate other cities to start building their own eHUB in order to replicate the concept of eHUBS throughout Europe.
The day started with presentations about the concept of eHUBS (mobipunten in Flanders) and the progress with the pilot in and around Leuven (eHUBS partner city). After this interesting introduction, several e-carsharing providers took place in the panel conversation. Joachim Jacob (Partago CVBA), Tom Alleman (Cambio Flanders), Gunter Depooter (Zen Car) and Philippe Awouters (Coopstroom CVBA) answered questions of small and large cities in Flanders concerning e-carsharing and carsharing in rural areas. Attendees demonstrated great interest in this conversation and many of their questions concerning e-carsharing were answered. The main conclusion gathered from this exchange is that e-carsharing is still very new and innovative, in both cities and rural areas, which makes it harder to persuade a broader audience. Nevertheless, if implemented in a broader local strategy on sustainable mobility, e-carsharing can work in cities and rural areas.
After the break, participants had the opportunity to choose between three inspiration sessions. In the first inspiration session about shared mobility at housing developments, prof. Dr. Dirk Lauwers (Antwerp University) presented his notebook on mobility standards at new building locations. Esther De Reys (Autodelen.net) inspired the 30 participants with good practises from Flanders and the opportunity to integrate eHUBS at housing developments. Both speakers showed the enormous potential of shared mobility and eHUBS at housing developments in order to change local mobility habits.
In the second session, participations learned more about participation and communication concerning eHUBS and shared mobility. The City of Leuven, partner in the eHUBS-project, presented their approach towards bottom-up eHUBS and how to involve neighbourhoods in this. Ine Lippens (Autodelen.net) presented the communication toolkit for local governments, complemented with some good practises from Belgium. The key message of the session was about the importance of listening to what people need and of communicating the advantages of shared mobility on a regular basis.
Lastly, the third session, attended by around 15 cities, focused on (e-)bikesharing, mostly in rural areas. Firstly, Sven Huysmans (The New Drive) talked about the approach in the Antwerp transport region towards a regional bikesharing scheme, which can be useful for other regions. Secondly, Wouter Florizoone (Transport and Mobility Leuven) moderated a debate between Bram Dousselaere (Blue Bike, the biggest back-to-one system in Belgium) and Dieter Petré (WOW-Mobility, an e-bikesharing and technology provider). The main takeaway of the discussions focused on the potential of bikesharing for an increase of the accessibility of rural areas, in particular when combined with efficient public transport.
Between the sessions and during lunch the participants had the opportunity to chat more with different (e-)shared mobility providers during a mobility market. Many civil servants and politicians went back home with new ideas, new insights and new contacts in order to start building their own eHUB in the future!