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Brussels is paying people up to €900 to ditch their cars

The Belgian capital wants to get more citizens on bikes and public transport

Ed Cunningham
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Ed Cunningham
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In cities, cars are a huge source of pollution and take up a staggering amount of space. But the worst thing? Most citizens don’t even need them; they’d be much better off using bicycles or public transport.

Brussels, the Belgian capital, recognises all this – and is taking action. The city has decided to start paying people who live in the Brussels Capital Region as much as €900 (£750, $990) to ditch their cars. Not bad, eh?

The official title of the scheme is Bruxell’air, and it’s actually been in place since 2006. However, the maximum amount of incentive recently nearly doubled from €500 to €900. The idea is that people will stop using cars altogether and instead use the extra cash to travel via eco-friendly alternatives. 

So what could you get for €900? Well, quite a lot – but the Brussels government won’t just let you spend it on anything. You’re allowed to buy things like fancy bicycles and nice cycling equipment, though you can also use the cash to subsidise public transport or enrol on a car-sharing service. And you better make the most of it: any money left over will be given back to the city.

It should also be noted that €900 is the maximum amount that Bruxellois can receive from the scheme. The amount is based on your earnings, with the aim of giving poorer citizens more help transitioning towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

In any case, Brussels is setting a fab example and showing how cities can incentivise their inhabitants to live more sustainably. If you’re a Brussels resident and want to get in on the act, you can apply for the bonus by cancelling your car registration and applying with the local authority. Find out more on the Bruxell’air website

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