Brussels transport operator STIB/MIVB has begun installing contactless terminals in some metro stations, as it prepares to make the entire network compatible with contactless bankcard payments before the summer.
Users of the network have reported sightings of new terminals at the access gates to the metro in stations like Madou and Porte de Hall.
Last autumn, STIB announced it was installing contactless payment terminals in a number of stations for a trial period.
"The trial period hasn’t started yet, we’re currently installing all the machines. Once that is done we can start a trial period, but internally with staff," a spokesperson for the company said.
The spokesperson added that the new payment system to become operational by April or May at the latest.
During the pilot period, the company said it would aim to work out a way to avoid double payments, citing the example of users who scanned a wallet containing multiple payment cards.
Contactless payment would work in the same way as the current ticket or transport card system, with users required to rescan their bank cards if taking a correspondence, which would only be charged again if after the usual 60-minute window.
The transport company has purchased a total of 6,200 devices to implement the technology over the entire metro network as well as on the electric buses operating on line 33.
Gabriela Galindo and Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times