FAQ

The Cairgo Bike project encourages the regular use of cargo bikes of all shapes and sizes in Brussels. Find a list below of the questions people most often ask about cargo bikes. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, contact us directly here.

Can anyone be coached by urbike as part of the Cairgo Bike project ?

Any professional organisation (in the public or private sector) can participate. There are no criteria relating to the sector or size of the business.

What are the benefits of using a cargo bike for professionals ?

You can move through traffic far more easily. You can use many ‘limited one-way’ streets (sens unique limité - SUL) and access pedestrian zones at any time of the day. Your journey time is predictable, and you will not get stuck in traffic jams. You can park easily in front of your customer’s premises (without obstructing pedestrians, of course). The investment and especially the costs of use are far lower than those for a car or van.

How can I get urbike coaching ?

A group of 40 professional participants has already been selected for the programme, which is full for 2021. urbike is now considering new modules and formulas to allow it to welcome extra participants. It is a good idea to contact urbike and consider the possibilities together : cairgo@urbike.be.

What jobs are cargo bikes suitable for ?

We would not automatically exclude any activity or sector. A cargo bike is a means of transport like any other, with a very wide range of possibilities. Vans will always be necessary for certain volumes, and it might be worth considering vehicle sharing schemes such as Remorquable or Cambio.

In Brussels, for example, there are already a locksmith, nurses and midwives who travel by bike, as well as bike-based waste collection, meal deliveries and window-cleaning services.

What models of cargo bike are available under the urbike coaching scheme ?

urbike has a fleet of 12 cargo bikes available for the Cairgo Bike project: Douze Cycles (V2 and G4) and Urban Arrow (Shorty, L and XL) bikes with different modules that are both lockable and open, as well as HNF Nicolaï tricycles. These 12 bikes have various load capacities (from 150 L to 525 L), maximum weights (144 kg to 275 kg) and dimensions, and they are suited to different uses and activities. urbike also offers the FlexiModal “runner” trailer. 

What is black carbon ?

‘Black carbon’ refers to a group of pollutants high in carbon. They are fine particulate matter in the PM2.5 fraction, which means particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres (1 micrometre = 10-6 metres). Many black carbon particles are extremely small, which means they are among the particles classified as ultrafine particulate matter. Black carbon is very strongly linked to combustion, and the term is sometimes used to refer to the carbon in soot. 

The two main sources of this form of pollution are the use of heating oil and vehicle fuels. Because of their very small size, these particles can easily enter the lungs and bloodstream, causing risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease. 

Exposure to this pollutant will be measured by Brussels Environment.

Why is exposure to black carbon measured rather than exposure to nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the Cairgo Bike project ?

Nitrogen oxides are another very good indicator of pollution caused by the use of fossil fuels, and what is more, the proportion of these pollutants produced by road traffic in the Brussels Region is higher than black carbon. However, because these oxides are gases and not particles in suspension, it is more complicated to measure them than black carbon, and these measurements cannot currently be made with a portable device, at least not if you want to obtain an acceptable quality level that is comparable to that of the official measuring stations.

How much does the coaching offered by urbike and Pro Velo cost ?

The programme is free! The organisers only ask for a deposit on the loan of the bikes.

How can I plan my trips to minimise my exposure to black carbon ?

The Exp’AIR project, for which measurements were taken between 2013 and 2015, made it possible to track the concentration of black carbon in the Brussels Region. That enabled Brussels Environment to create a map of concentrations during rush hours. Furthermore, cargo bikes can always use the advanced stop box, also known as the bike box, at traffic lights (Zones Avancées pour Cyclistes): this allows cyclists to wait in front of the cars, so that they avoid inhaling polluting products of vehicle fuel combustion as well as increasing their safety when the traffic lights turn green.

Do I need to take my Cambio electric cargo bike back to its original station ?

Yes! At the end of your reservation period, you need to return your bike to the station you got it from. During the reservation, you can park your Cambio bike wherever you like, as long as you obey the rules that apply in Brussels and lock your bike, of course.

What items are eligible for the grant from Brussels Economy and Employment ?

The following cargo bikes and bike trailers designed to transport goods are permitted :

  • Cargo bike: the bicycles and electric bicycles covered by article 2, 2.15.1 and 2.15.3 of the Royal Decree of 1 December 1975 containing the general police regulations for road traffic and the use of public roads, designed for the transportation of bulky goods using an integrated container or deck. The cargo bike must have a carrying capacity of at least 100 kg.  If it has electrical assist, it must have a maximum power of 250W.

    Vehicles of the “goods transport module” type that can be purchased with a cargo bike are eligible if they are purchased at the same time as the cargo bike.
  • Bike trailer: commercial bike trailers intended for goods are permitted. Trailers for the transportation of animals or people are not permitted.

    Second-hand and rental items are not permitted.
How much does a Cambio subscription cost ?

Cambio is a subscription-based system. Depending on your needs, you will pay a monthly fee of € 4 for a START subscription, € 8 for BONUS or € 22 for COMFORT.  That will give you access to the entire fleet and, if you use one of the vehicles, you will pay by the hour and the kilometre. At the end of each month, you will receive an invoice with details of your trips. Find out the rate per hour and per kilometre for our different vehicles and subscriptions.

When you sign up, you will pay a € 35 activation cost and a financial contribution

The financial contribution (deposit) is refunded to you when you cancel your contract. It is € 150 for the START subscription and € 500 for the BONUS and COMFORT subscriptions.