STIB welcomes a continued rise in passenger numbers

STIB welcomes a continued rise in passenger numbers
Credit: Belga

With public transport taking a huge hit from the pandemic, STIB CEO Brieuc de Méeus finally has something to smile about when announcing a 12% rise in passengers in 2021.

Speaking at the presentation of STIB's 2021 activity report, de Méeus revealed that a total of 273,8 million trips were recorded, just over 64% of 2019 figures recorded before the pandemic led to lockdowns and a drastic decrease in users of public transport.

The rise is attributed to STIB's decision to maintain its €391.5 million investment in spite of the pandemic. Last year, the Brussels public transport operator introduced new bus lines, extended tram line 9, and launched 202 new hybrid vehicles.

De Méeus' proudest accomplishment was the rollout of a new fleet of metro trains: "Everyone will have seen the arrival of the new M7 trains in our stations. These trains are beautiful and were made in Spain. Inside, they are both beautiful and comfortable."

The investments helped STIB transport cover 50.6 million km last year, breaking the record for distance travelled. At the same time, passenger satisfaction is up, with a customer survey scoring customer satisfaction at 7.3 out of 10, not far off STIB's target of 7.4 by 2023.

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With STIB having already recorded an average ridership of 84.2% for the week of May 16 in 2022, the company is looking to increase its efforts throughout the year.

This will be through new TNG trams (similar to the M7 metro trains) 10 of which are presently in service. Furthermore, the company is looking to expand its electric bus fleet as well as increase the frequency of metros.

Finally, 760 job openings for 2022 will bring the company to 10,000 employees.

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