World’s first all-electric sightseeing bus fleet launched in Brussels

World’s first all-electric sightseeing bus fleet launched in Brussels
Credit: STIB

World’s first all-electric sightseeing bus service has been launched in Brussels by public transport operator STIB, a breath of fresh (and clean) air for the capital’s tourism industry.

The launch of STIB’s sightseeing bus services were put on hold for a year because of the pandemic. Now, tourism is starting to pick up in the region, and with the demand for such tours is expected to swiftly return, the company is ready for the launch of its unique buses.

Managed by the Brussels sightseeing bus company Tootbus (a subsidiary of RATP Dev), this eco-friendly tourism attraction responds to two needs, according to Brieuc de Meeûs, CEO of STIB.

“On the one hand, this will ensure the return of tourists to Brussels. And on the other hand, it marks another step forward in our environmental commitment, because thanks to this launch we are the first in the world to have an all-electric fleet for sightseeing activities.”

Starting this winter, two electric buses will be running on two routes for people to discover the city’s main attractions. In the summer of 2022, this will be expanded to six buses. If demand is high, this number can be increased further.

The routes of the buses can be tracked in real-time via the Tootbus app, where tickets can also be ordered.

Unique experience in many ways

Brussels’ Mobility Minister, Elke Van den Brandt said that the city’s citizens take great pride in being the first to implement a more eco-friendly alternative to the “iconic Hop on Hop off buses.”

“Everyone will be able to (re)visit our beautiful region to the full in an environmentally friendly and silent bus.”

Not only does the eco-friendliness of these buses set them apart from other sightseeing bus services, so do their new audio guides, of which the texts were written and spoken by native speakers of each language, who are locals in the city, and offer a unique cultural perspective for each nationality.

The guides, which also include a section tailored to children, are currently available in six languages, and this will later be expanded to ten languages.

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