Flemish transport company De Lijn cancelled more than 200,000 trips in 2018.
That is a 50% increase in cancelled trips from 2017, according to New Mobility.
Almost two-thirds of all the trips cancelled last year were due to worker strikes. About 40,000 journeys were cancelled because of a lack of drivers, which is double the amount cancelled for the same reason last year.
The shortage of drivers is concentrated in Flemish Brabant and Antwerp, according to New Mobility.
At the end of last year, De Lijn launched a driver recruitment campaign that has brought in 250 new employees so far. In the past, however, the company has had money left over in its personnel budget because of a lack of workers. According to New Mobility, about 1 million euro per month is not being spent.
An estimated 570 drivers will be needed this year, and De Lijn has made its recruitment requirements more flexible to attract candidates. The bar has been lowered for language skills, driving lessons are offered in training courses, and drivers can work fewer hours.
The Brussels Times