De Lijn will offer Brussels suburbs a new transport service from September, the trambus. Fourteen of these extra-long buses will ply the northern outskirts of the capital, from Jette to Zaventem Airport via Brussels Expo and Vilvoorde. They could potentially replace up to 10,000 cars, the head of the Flemish public transport company, Roger Kesteloot, said at the presentation ceremony for the first trambus.
This mode of transport combines the advantages of a bus and those of a tram, Flemish Mobility Minister Ben Weyts (N-VA) said. The trambus offers the flexibility of a bus but has a tram-like size with its 24-metre length, twice that of the average bus, and can hold up to 137 passengers.
The new vehicles will help ease transport bottlenecks in the northern periphery of the capital, according to Marc Descheemaecker, president of both De Lijn and Brussels Airport Company.
Built by the Flemish company Van Hool in Koningshooikt, the trambuses have a hybrid engine and should save De Lijn some 200,000 litres of diesel per year, the public transport company estimated.