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This week, the VUB kicks off the cycling month! An internal mobility survey with staff members shows that the number of cyclists to campus continue to rise and commuting by car is historically low. The same trend applies to students. This should be celebrated and the VUB treats its cyclists this month! Staff, students and alumni can participate in the group buying of (electric) bicycles and have their bicycle repaired by the Vélofixer for free.
On 3 May 2018, the VUB-Cycling group holds its annual spring campaign! Visit the esplanade in Etterbeek from 11h to 15h to test the bikes of the group purchase, have your bike repaired by the Vélofixer or receive a bike kit from the GreenTeam. In addition, members of the VUB-Cycling group and Brik will share their experiences on cycling to the campuses and in Brussels.
The VUB-Cycling group is a group of voluntary staff members and students in Jette and Etterbeek who promote cycling and follow up cycling movements and infrastructure. Do you want to be part of the cycling group? Send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Group buying – enjoy a substantial discount on your new bike
Looking for a new bike? Take advantage of this VUB-group buying with its very diverse offer: (electric) city bikes, (electric) folding bikes, speed pedelecs and electric steps, supplemented with bicycle accessories, damage and theft insurance and breakdown assistance. The offered bicycles are mainly Belgian brands and the folding bikes are from Brussels!
An overview of the offer, the discounts and the registration module can be found on the page of Cyclevally. A Cyclevally representative will provide more information on the offer during test sessions on campus Etterbeek (26/04 & 03/05) and campus Jette (24/04 & 07/05). Take this opportunity to have a look at the bicycles, ask specific questions and make test rides on the offered bicycles!
Free bike repairs
The Vélofixer, a Brussels bike shop with cargo bike, visits campus Jette on 26 April and campus Etterbeek on 3 May to repair your bike. Have your bike checked and repaired by the Vélofixer, you only pay for the new parts.
Registration is required. Send an e-mail by Monday 30 April with your name, mobile number, overview of repairs and the hours when you can drop your bike off to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be specific on the repairs so the correct spare parts can be foreseen (e.g. let us know the size of your tyres, add pictures).
Follow-up mobility actions
More than 1000 suggestions were put forward in the internal mobility survey. VUB will work to further improve mobility to and from all campuses. From expanding the bicycle infrastructure, to tackling parking violations and lobbying for the renovation of Etterbeek station and better public transport. All the departments involved will work on these needs, in cooperation with the VUB-Core group sustainability and in dialogue with the stakeholders.
In 2017, 1254 employees participated in the VUB-staff mobility survey. We see a modal shift away from the car, in favour of the bicycle and public transport on both campuses. The most sustainable trend is that more staff lives in Brussels: the proportion of staff living in Brussels has increased by 5% since 2011 - to 30% in Etterbeek and 17.5% in Jette. Living close to work has many advantages: the carbon footprint of the VUB is reduced, the well-being of employees is improved and Brussels benefits from a better social mix.
In addition, working at home is also on the rise. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel aims to create an optimal work-life balance by means of a flexible timetable in combination with the possibility of working off-campus (i.e. working from home or another location). This reduces commuter traffic, which not only benefits the well-being of VUB employees, but also the carbon footprint of the university. The VUB employees commute massively with sustainable transport and from a large distance. Half of the VUB employees commute more than an hour on a one-way journey. Due to off-campus regulations, staff members on average work off-campus 3 days a month, in most cases from home.
On campus Jette, the proportion of employees commuting by car continues to fall (infographic below). The inconvenience caused by the construction site around tram 9 is a possible cause. The cycling infrastructure in Jette has been expanded and accommodates more cyclists, with an increase to 9.7% of the modal split. Whereas the bicycle used to be a rarity on campus Jette, bikes are more and more visible on campus.
In Etterbeek, the decline in car use has been ongoing since 2004; this has been the case since the VUB reimburses 100% of the public transport costs of VUB-staff. The survey shows that the decline continued in 2017, to a historically low 11.75% (infographic below). The proportion of cyclists rises to 8.71%. It doesn’t seem to be long before the cyclist’s share will catch up with the proportion of car users. Traditionally, public transport remains strong, with a share of 74.43%.