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Coronavirus has cost STIB over €118 million so far

Credit: Belga

The coronavirus crisis has cost Brussels public transport company STIB €118 million in the period up to the end of August, Brussels Mobility Minister Elke Van den Brandt told The Brussels Parliament committee on Tuesday.

The STIB has suffered a €108 million shortfall in its income and has had to spend another €30 million on measures introduced specifically to combat the spread of the coronavirus, such as more frequent cleaning of vehicles and the purchase of protective equipment. However, some spending has also been cut by the crisis, by €20m.

“This is a significant loss,” she acknowledged, stressing that the figures are provisional and that the government does not intend to slow down projects for budgetary reasons.

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Users are gradually returning to public transport, Van den Brandt said, with the STIB currently running at 65% of its normal occupancy.

However, care must be taken not to fill up the trains, she warns. “We have asked the Stib to use its entire offer” in order to avoid concentrations of people in the vehicles, the minister said.

The Brussels Times