The Belgian City of Leuven plans to introduce 50 mobility hubs over the next three years in order to improve multimodality in the city. The hubs will bring together different transport modes in one place, such as a bus stop, electric vehicle charging stations and various shared vehicles, including electric cars, bicycles and scooters. The initiative is supported by the EU through an Interreg project, "e-HUBS".
Leuven aims to build a network of five large, 10 medium and 35 small mobility hubs. At the hubs, residents and visitors will be able to get a clear overview of the forms of public transport and shared mobility that are available in their neighbourhood. The mobility hubs will be designed to enable and promote multimodality at a small scale. They will be accessible and well-connected to the public transport network and so aim to make their users less dependent on individual car ownership.
Additional services and facilities at the hubs, including a locker system to which parcels can be delivered and real time information on public transport, will further stimulate the use of the mobility hubs. Real-time information on the network of mobility hubs will be made available via a dedicated app.
The Alderman for Mobility of the city of Leuven, David Dessers, welcomed the project: “The mobility hubs are an important step towards unentangling the mobility knots in Leuven and contributing to a pleasant, accessible and climate-neutral city.”
The mobility hubs also aim to address the issue of the 'cluttering' of public space caused by the wide variety of shared bikes, cars and e-scooters, which are often indiscriminately parked on pavements and in pedestrianised areas. The city of Leuven will engage with the various mobility providers that have services in the city with the aim of clustering their vehicles at the chosen sites.
The e-HUBS project
The city of Leuven receives a subsidy of €516 721 as a partner in the Interreg project “Smart Shared Green Mobility Hubs” (or "e-HUBS") and contributes €350 000 euro of its own funds. Interreg subsidises cross-border projects for smart, green and inclusive growth and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). In addition to Leuven, Amsterdam, Nijmegen, Manchester, Dreux and Kempten also participate in the project. In total, 92 mobility hubs will be implemented with approximately 2 400 shared mobility vehicles in six pilot cities.
Picture credits: Klein Berlijn.