Flanders will contribute €35 million to support De Lijn
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    Flanders will contribute €35 million to support De Lijn

    Credit: Belga

    The Flemish government announced on Tuesday that it would support Flemish public transport company De Lijn in compensation for coronavirus losses. 

    De Lijn estimates a negative impact of €35 million until August, it said on Tuesday.

    “The government is demonstrating that it attaches great importance to our efforts to continue operating during this health crisis,” commented De Lijn CEO Roger Kesteloot.

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    De Lijn’s buses and trams have partially continued to operate during the lockdown, with a significant financial impact, according to the company. 

    Some costs fell, for example for fuel, but the crisis brought new costs such as investments in hygiene measures. The company also sold far fewer tickets.

    Out of €265 million in total, the increased coronavirus emergency fund that the Flemish government announced on Tuesday includes €47 million for the mobility sector as a whole. That amount does not include the €35 million specifically for De Lijn.

    The Flemish government will contribute this sum from general means rather than its coronavirus emergency fund, VRT NWS clarified.

    Other areas covered by the emergency fund include culture, sports, youth organisations, media, agriculture and tourism.

    Jason Spinks
    The Brussels Times