Belgium one step closer to 'combi-ticket' for all public transport

Belgium one step closer to 'combi-ticket' for all public transport
Credit: Belga

Belgian MPs approved a resolution to introduce a "combi-ticket" for all public transport operators across the country's regions – bringing the country one step closer to uncomplicated nationwide travel.

Put on the table last month, the resolution will allow anyone wishing to use public transport to travel within different regions on different services.

For example, one previously needed to buy various tickets to travel from rural Flanders to the Ardennes in Wallonia: one ticket when using a De Lijn bus or tram, one for the SNCB train and also a bus ticket from Walloon public transport company TEC.

This is "needlessly complex and also very expensive," said MP for the Flemish socialist Vooruit party Joris Vandenbroucke, who put forward the proposal. "As a result, the cheapest option for many families is taking the car."

A combi-ticket, which would allow travellers to use buses, trams and trains from companies SNCB, De Lijn, STIB and TEC, could make public transport "simple, cheap and attractive again," he said.

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In his initial proposal, Vandenbroucke suggested a combi-ticket costing €7 at any time of the day and week (without distinguishing between off-peak and peak hours or weekdays and weekends). It would be valid for one day and would allow travellers unlimited use of all buses, trams and trains.

By approving the resolution in the plenary session on Thursday, the Chamber now instructs the Federal Government to explore with the regions and public transport companies how to introduce a combined ticket for one affordable price.

A similar system already exists at a national level in Austria and Germany. In the Brussels-Capital Region, the BruPass (introduced in February 2021) allows people to travel in and around Brussels with a single transport ticket valid for the four public transport operators.

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