All public transport in Brussels free on Car Free Sunday

All public transport in Brussels free on Car Free Sunday
Credit: Lauren Walker/ The Brussels Times

All metros, trams and buses on the network of public transport operator STIB in Brussels will be completely free of charge on 18 September, when the region will hold its much-celebrated annual Car Free Sunday.

Between 09:30 and 19:00, the region will become the largest car-free zone in Europe, as streets throughout the entire region will be largely empty of cars. To ensure people can still travel large distances across the region to make the best of this day, public transport will be made free from the beginning to the end of the service.

"Car-free Sunday is an opportunity to rethink one's travel and (re)discover public transport. And who knows, maybe that experience will one day develop into a new, more environmentally conscious mobility habit. That's the goal, and it's all the more important in the current context," Brieuc de Meeûs, CEO of STIB, said.

Gates in all the stations across the region will be left open, meaning travellers do not have to validate their tickets or passes. Meanwhile, the frequency of services will be increased to accommodate a large number of passengers, with buses, trams and metros running at the same frequency as on Saturday.

Behind the scenes of STIB

The company will also open up the depot of the Erasmus metro station – the western terminus of line 5 in Anderlecht. The building covers an area of more than 30,000 m², of which most is underground, and can house 23 metro trains and maintain another seven.

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Visitors are invited to discover the depot which was designed to minimise the impact on the environment, as it is equipped with solar panels, heat pumps, as well as systems for the recovery of rainwater and the recycling of wastewater.

People can also step into the driver's cabin of the new M7 metro, see the metro washing machine in action or discover a metro from below while it is in the lift position.

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