Steady increase in passengers on Belgian public transport
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    Steady increase in passengers on Belgian public transport

    Credit: Belga

    Belgian public transport companies STIB, NMBS and De Lijn are reporting a steady increase in passengers.

    The buses of the public transport company De Lijn are showing an occupancy rate of 25 to 30%, compared to 12% at the beginning of the lockdown period, according to the company’s spokesperson.

    However, these figures are still a lot lower than the occupancy rate before the coronavirus crisis, De Lijn has sufficient capacity to handle the partial reopening of the schools, it said.

    For the trains, about 5% of the seats were occupied during the containment period. By now, this figure has risen to 9%, according to an SNCB spokesperson.

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    The number of daily commuters has also doubled, going from about 90,000 to 181,000. However, this represents only 20% of the usual number of commuters the SNCB transports on a regular working day.

    The Brussels company STIB has seen the number of its passengers increase from 22% to 28% in its metros, and 30% in the surface network. The company’s trams and buses operate at 85% and the metro at 90% of the usual service.

    The company is waiting for a final decision on which pupils will be allowed to go back to school, intending to possibly extend its services.

    Almost all” passengers comply with the obligation to wear face masks, according to all three companies. Passengers who refuse to comply risk a €250 fine.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times