What will happen to the Antwerp bike sharing Velo in 2027? Then the contract with Clear Channel, the company behind Velo, ends. “We want to preserve these iconic bicycles, but the question is how,” says Koen Kennis (N-VA), Antwerp’s Alderman for Mobility.
READ ALSO: Red and white bicycles Velo is still gaining popularity with 6.5 million rides
The first red and white shared bicycles from Velo hit the road in Antwerp in 2011. They were an immediate and immense success. More than 6.5 million rides were made with these bicycles in 2023, an increase of 9 percent. The contract with Clear Channel will end in three years. The company also wants to let go of this project. Is this suddenly the end of these popular bicycles?
According to Alderman Kennis, that is not the intention. “Velo is important for Antwerp and you see that every day in our streets. We will look for a new supplier of these bicycles. There are some conditions attached. The number of Velos and stations must be maintained. An expansion outside the city is something we want to explore. Of course, we also want the iconic appearance of these bicycles to be preserved. They have been embraced and cherished by the people of Antwerp.”
A lot has changed technologically since the introduction of Velo in Antwerp. It is also possible to create virtual stations, as other providers of shared bicycles and scooters already do. If there is an expansion outside the city, there is a need for electric Velos. (svw)