In order to attract as many spectators and as few cars as possible, Brussels public transport company STIB announced that its buses, trams and metros will be free during the opening weekend of the Tour de France on 6 and 7 July.
The 106th edition of the Tour de France will open in Brussels this year as the start and finish line of the opening stage (Le Grand Départ) will be in Belgium’s capital. The following day, a team trial across the seven Brussels municipalities will take place, reported La Derniere Heure.
An estimated one million spectators from all over the world will attend the Grand Départ in Brussels that weekend. However, as the peloton will race through Brussels, many roads will be closed to cars, hindering traffic all over the city.
From 3 July, when the Tour circus starts pitching its tents, traffic jams are to be expected. Driving through the city will be practically impossible during that weekend, according to the public transport company.
To reduce car pressure during the opening weekend itself, the Brussels government decided to make public transport arranged by STIB free of charge on 6 and 7 July. The aim is to encourage Belgian cycling enthusiasts to take the train or leave their car at the borders of the Region and continue their way in Brussels by metro, tram or bus.
The Brussels Times