Unique in this regard, and a first for Flanders, is the partnership between the city of Turnhout, Cambio and project developer ION. In this case, the project developer invests in Cambio, so that they can add another car faster. Cambio will also be encouraging the residents of this project to embrace car sharing.
“For cities, car sharing has nothing but benefits. People who use shared cars are less likely to buy their own, or a second car. This means every Cambio car takes up to 12 privately owned cars off our streets. That’s a dozen fewer cars that need to find a parking spot, which reduces parking scarcity in the neighbourhood. Furthermore, residents without a car can now use one when they need to. So that means increased access to transportation for all. Even people who actively use sustainable modes of transport most of the time, like cycling and public transportation, can really use a car every now and again.”
“In the long run, we want a shared car in every neighbourhood. But at the current rate, that goal is still years away. It wasn’t financially feasible for Cambio to add cars at an increased rate. Meanwhile, project developers have been legally required to build lots of underground parking spaces. Even parking spaces that might not be needed anymore once a significant part of the population switches to car sharing. The city of Turnhout decided to break this vicious cycle by allowing project developers to include a few less parking spaces, so long as they finance the addition of an extra shared car in the fleet. This has proved to be a win-win-win situation for the project developer, for Cambio and for the city of Turnhout. And this allows us to increase the number of shared cars in the city at a faster pace. This concept is also part of the “Green Deal Shared Mobility” project, a partnership agreement with Flanders, co-signed by the city of Turnhout, where we share our expertise.”
Our society has seen an unprecedented mobility explosion in recent decades. The number of journeys, the distances we travel and the number of vehicles on our roads all continue to increase. Noise and air pollution, encroachment of open spaces, traffic jams and numerous other problems that have a significant impact on the environment are undeniable consequences of this.”
“ION strives to be a CO2 neutral developer, so here in our Niefhout project, we’ve consciously opted for low-traffic green spaces that are both pleasant and safe, and within walking distance of all kinds of facilities, like train stations and bus stops.”
“With this first shared Cambio car, we want to be of even better service to our residents, while expanding our offering of sustainable means of transport. In addition to its ecological and economic benefits, car sharing also increases the cohesion of the local community, as it enables warm social contacts between like-minded car-sharing individuals. As a developer, we would like to thank the city of Turnhout and Cambio for including us in this pioneering effort.”
“The Niefhout site is ideally located as it is so close to the train station. So, we are very pleased that the city and the project developer have decided to support sustainable mobility even more by investing in a parking space reserved for shared cars. Thanks to the good bus and train connections, the shared bicycles at the train station, and now a shared car on-site, buying or owning a car may become less of a priority – or even completely unnecessary – for many residents. There will also most likely be far less need to buy a second car. Therefore, we want to express our thanks to ION for their conscious choice to support sustainable mobility, rather than investing in more parking space … a decision that makes them one of the pioneers in Flanders, which has already inspired other cities and projects.”
“The car will be available at the Niefhout site as of today. Both the residents of this project and other Cambio users in Turnhout can use it. This car will complement our existing offer, raising the total to 7 shared Cambio cars in Turnhout, spread out over 6 pickup points. Some 200 people in Turnhout are already using them. With this test offer for the Niefhout residents, we hope to be able to convince many more people of the multiple advantages of car sharing. For a full six months, they will get access to all Cambio services without any subscription fees, so this is the perfect way for them to test how Cambio can work for them.”