Fostering soft mobility in office buildings: Befimmo and Ahooga launch a new service

26 September 2018

After a busy Mobility Week, Befimmo, a real-estate operator specialising in quality office buildings, and Ahooga Bike, a Brussels start-up known for its folding electric bicycles, announce the launch of a new service: the "On-Site Ahooga Bike Store & Services".

A mobility solution integrated into office buildings

To facilitate short trips, while minimising the environmental impact of such trips, Befimmo has for some time been providing Ahooga folding electric bicycles for its tenants in several buildings in its portfolio.

Now, Befimmo and Ahooga have decided to go a step further. By launching the "On-Site Ahooga Bike Store & Services" concept, Befimmo aims to reduce barriers to the use of bicycles (electric or non-electric) in companies by offering an on-site service together with Ahooga.

An Ahooga team will run a service point on site to help tenants learn how to use an electric (or non-electric) bike, folding or flexible. The service point will not only provide Ahooga bicycles to tenants for short trips, but will also offer a full range of services, ranging from a simple test-drive of various models, to bike rental or even sale and leasing. It will also offer advice, training or even on-site maintenance for your Ahooga bike. 

Ahooga service points in the Central Gate and Triomphe buildings 

The first Befimmo buildings to offer the new on-site service are Central Gate, located in the centre of Brussels, close to the central train station and the Triomphe building, located in Ixelles, which has also been hosting a Silversquare coworking centre since last June.

"The goal is to give workers the opportunity to easily discover and test the use of a greener means of transport for short trips. If the experiment proves successful, we plan to extend this service to other buildings in our portfolio," says Emilie Delacroix, Head of CSR & Innovation at Befimmo.

Why Ahooga? 

In choosing Ahooga, Befimmo has gone for the ethical "made in Europe" option. Indeed, the frames are designed in Belgium and manufactured in Europe, with aluminium purchased in Belgium. Moreover, 30% of the assembly work is done in Brussels. In this way, Ahooga stimulates the local economy and reduces its ecological footprint. 

Ahooga is opposed to the principle of planned obsolescence, and also advocates an open ecosystem that does not lock users in. An accessory released today is still compatible with the first models. 
"Ahooga is a sustainable player; we share its values and place the same importance on social responsibility.” Adds Emilie Delacroix from Befimmo. 

"The idea was to offer an on-site mobility service, similar to child-care services in companies.” Says Philippe Lefrancq, co-founder of Ahooga. "If we want companies to foster the adoption of cycling, we believe it is important to make soft mobility a local service and bring it into healthy competition with the company car that is still used all too often for all trips. Corporate initiatives are generally limited to Mobility Week. Our aim with this joint project is to foster continuous exposure to the benefits of intelligent mobility.  Because it is by getting a practical and regular taste of it, on the commute to work or from one appointment to another, that the impact is the most convincing. Add to this a quality service, maintenance and advice in your office building, and you have the ingredients of a recipe that could well accelerate a switch in transport habits in the city.” adds Philippe Lefrancq of Ahooga. 

Mobility, at the heart of Befimmo's strategy

As an owner of office buildings, Befimmo intends to play a role in developing softer mobility to and around workspaces. Befimmo is therefore convinced that changing tenants' mobility habits can be achieved only by designing buildings that incorporate innovative mobility solutions.

Together with its strategic partner, Silversquare, coworking pioneer in Belgium, Befimmo made the most of Mobility Week to introduce tenants and members of the Triomphe coworking centre to the latest innovations in mobility. A whole week to learn, discover and test a number of new transport solutions.