Stib calls in police to combat non-essential travel on public transport

Stib calls in police to combat non-essential travel on public transport
© Mauritsvink/Wikimedia

The Brussels public transport authority Stib/MIVB is to pay special attention in the coming days to the numbers of people using the public transport network to make non-essential journeys.

The Stib said it was ready to use its own security teams to deal with the problem, but it would also call in police if necessary.

The rules of the current lockdown forbid all non-essential outings from the home: it is permitted to go out for exercise, to shop for food, to visit a doctor or pharmacy or to help those who need it.

Under those rules, far fewer people require public transport than usual, and this weekend the Stib cut the number of buses, trams and metros in service by half.

However the authority said it had noticed many people using the network for reasons it said were not essential. That has the effect of overcrowding those vehicles which are running, putting at risk the social distancing rules in force – stay at least 1.5m away from other people.

The problem was particularly noticeable on Saturday on two lines: tram 55 from Rogier to Da Vinci, which passes though Schaerbeek and Evere; and tram 62 from Jette cemetery to Eurocontrol, which passes through Laeken, Schaerbeek, Evere and Haren.

Our drivers are doing all they can to transport those who really need it,” said An Van Hamme, spokesperson for the Stib.

Help them to respect social distances as well as the maximum number of passengers per vehicle. Thank you for only making those journeys that are strictly necessary.”

Alan Hope

The Brussels Times

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