Belgian rail operator SNCB has been accused of discrimination for its decision to make paper tickets more expensive than those bought online, with a warning that the move would disproportionally affect people with disabilities.
In an opinion published on Monday, the National Higher Council for People With Disabilities (CSNPH) has denounced the decision, warning that it is likely to have consequences on the lives of people with disabilities.
The CSNPH "cannot accept" this price difference "and is opposed to it". It highlights the digital divide, i.e. inequalities in access to and use of information and communication technologies, which is "a reality for many people with disabilities".
Giving an advantage to people who have no difficulty in buying a train ticket online is discrimination. People with disabilities already face multiple barriers in their use of rail transport and it is "unacceptable that this vulnerable group should have to pay more for the same journey simply because they do not have access to the internet".
The CSNPH has also called on the Advisory Committee for Rail Passengers to oppose this fare adjustment.
The Council has informed the Minister for Mobility, Georges Gilkinet, the Minister for Persons with Disabilities, Karine Lalieux, and the CEO of the SNCB, Sophie Dutordoir, of its opposition.
The Brussels Times