Belgian politicians have criticized the co-chair of Green party Ecolo, Rajae Maouane, for taking a taxi to talk about sustainability on car-free Sunday, the only Sunday of the year in which cars are prohibited in Brussels.
“I am not going to lie to you, I came here in a taxi,” she told hosts Martin Buxant and Christophe Deborsu during the TV interview after the pair asked her how she got to the studio on a day in which no private vehicles are allowed in the city.
“From my home to here, I had a 45-minute bike ride, which was a bit complicated, so I took a taxi,” she added. Taking a taxi is allowed during the Belgian capital’s car-free day but critics called her out for choosing a high-emission mode of transport.
During the interview, she supported reinvesting in public transport, changing the city’s parking setup, and reducing the prices of bus and train tickets. “If people choose cars, it’s because other public transport isn’t developed enough, so it’s the responsibility of politics,” she said. Ecolo supports green mobility through a 16-point plan to improve the transport system.
Marc-Jean Ghyssels, a member of the Brussels-Capital parliament, mocked Maouane on X, formerly Twitter, saying: “Taking the car on car-free day to talk about ecology! Because ’45 minutes by bike is a bit complicated.'”
A day later, Maouane posted a photo on X of herself on an electric bike.