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The crazy characters of Villo, 10 years after its creation


The bicycle rental system is very successful but is still waiting for the arrival of e-bikes.

On 16 May 2009, JC Decaux launched Villo, its shared bicycle network in Brussels. A real novelty at the time, which has had great success.

Ten years later, the success is not empty in the middle, but Villo has to face an increasingly fierce competition with the appearance of other networks of shared bicycles, electric for some, but also famous electric scooters.

Still, Villo's figures are impressive. In 10 years, 12 million trips were achieved in particular by 37,500 subscribers the 360 stations Brussels. In terms of distance, these are 52 million kilometers which are also covered 1,300 turns of the earth. And that while you do not leave the capital!

And in addition to offering a convenient and easy-to-use mobility solution, Villo also has advantages, as JC Decaux says 6,559 tons of CO2 were saved thanks to Villo but also that 1.5 billion calories are issued.

But the fact remains that Villo is at a turning point in its history. If it represented a unique alternative to shared mobility in 2009, it is not the case today. All kinds of solutions have emerged to bring fierce competition, especially in electric motors.

Villo has not yet reached the electric milestone, potentially losing some of the customers who are attracted to the competition.

But the subscribers are reassured, Villo intends to propose electric bicycles as quickly as possible. Before the start of the summer, one third of the fleet must gradually switch to electricity and thus adapt to competition. "Two new things will happen in the coming weeks," said Jerome Blanchevoye, deputy general manager of JC Decaux, "In the next 15 days we will launch a new application that will reserve several bikes in advance. a group, 1,800 electric bikes will come to fill our fleet in the summer. "

It is difficult to know exactly when these bikes will be in circulation, but we know how they will work. "For a subscription of € 4 per month, users receive a battery that they can charge at home via a USB key. This battery is connected to the bicycle in the basket and the electrical system is switched on. Without a battery it is possible to & # 39 ; use the bicycle, but in a traditional way. & # 39;

A duplication that is practical. What to leave for 10 years of good and loyal services? The future will tell us.

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