Is mobility really a choice?

Photo de trafic à Bruxelles, avec bus, vélo et voiture.

What is our vision of mobility at Stoomlink? Explanations with François Hallin, our COO, presenting at the Open-Transport MeetUp, organised by Kisio Digital, on 10 March 2021.

Mobility: a daily choice

Mobility is a daily choice, but our environment forces us to favour some mobility solution over others. What can we do about it and how to make sure we stay free to choose the mobility solutions we want? 

Our question: in Belgium, can we rely on public transport to get around, regardless of where we live?

In order to answer this simple question, it is essential to analyse and understand the environment in which we live. And how it is adapted to our needs.

Maps for a quick and clear analysis  

Clear differences between cities 

Belgium, for example, is a small country, yet there are big differences in accessibility between cities and regions!

Let’s analyse the differences in accessibility between 5 large cities: Brussels, Liège, Mons, Antwerp and Hasselt.

First, taking into account all public transport solutions

Then, taking only the car as a transport solution 

What can we already notice? 

  1. The car has a wider accessibility because it is not constrained to public transport lines. 
  2. With the exception of Antwerp, it is not possible to reach Brussels centre in 90 minutes by car from Mons, Liège or Hasselt.
  3. Brussels centre can be reached in 90 minutes by public transport from Antwerp, Mons, Hasselt and Liège. 

Our map also points out some black spots in terms of accessibility in Belgium: Wavre and its region are completely excluded from access on these maps. 

The most accessible municipalities in Brussels? 

Let’s analyse which communes in Brussels are the best served by public transport? 

Let’s analyse the differences in accessibility between 5 major cities: Brussels, Liège, Mons, Antwerp and Hasselt.

Firstly, taking into account all public transport solutions and a 25-minute travel time.

Now let’s compare which municipalities are the most accessible for bicycles, with a 25-minute time limit.

Our analysis 

The networks do not allow you to get out of your commune or immediate neighbours, except on the metro or pre-metro lines

The bicycle, like the car in our previous analysis, acts as an equalizer

Brussels municipalities that are difficult to access by public transport? 

Once you can use all the public transport for a 25-minute journey, you quickly discover the ‘black spots’ in terms of accessibility in Brussels. 

Schaerbeek is the least accessible commune in Brussels. 

Where we live has a major impact on our mobility

So what do these analyses tell us? Quite simply that where we live has a major impact on our mobility. It is simply the most important decision.

That’s why Stoomlink wants to help everyone find the best possible place to live, based on your lifestyle. 

Whether you are a bike fan, a train lover, or a car owner, the accessibility of your home to these means of transport must be taken into account. 

When buying a house, it is important to know what is nearby (bars, restaurants, pharmacies, shops, cinemas, sports hall, schools…), in order to find the best possible match.

This alignment must be done according to your needs but also according to your desires and the way you want to live, your daily lifestyle. 

Conclusion? Mobility is indeed a choice if – and only if – you choose your place of living accordingly.

Our tools to help you decide 

To address this, we at Stoomlink have developed a series of tools to inform users: 

  • The Mobiscore: an easy-to-understand accessibility label, obtained by combining accessibility and proximity information. It offers a means of comparison and quick segmentation (habits, means of transport…), to support the decision. 
  • Accessibility study: to better understand your environment and its impact on accessibility. Do you want to build a new shop in a certain place? Check if it is accessible to the greatest number of people.
  • Proximity study: Our values and way of life are also rooted in our daily lives in terms of where we go to school or where we like to play, so it’s important to know if a place matches these desires. 

Our mobility and proximity data can help you make smart choices based on your goals. Do not hesitate to contact us.