Lockdown: Brussels residents 'afraid' to use public transport

Lockdown: Brussels residents 'afraid' to use public transport
© Belga

Brussels residents are increasingly turning away from public transport in the aftermath of the coronavirus lockdown, a new mobility report found.

A new barometer by road safety institute VIAS found that the use of cars or bicycles to get around was rising as the same time as public transport use decreased.

The figures showed that the use of the tram and metro networks dropped sharply, going from 9.5 to 2.7% after the lockdown.

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"It seems that people are afraid to take public transport again," VIAS researcher Julien Leblud told La Libre.

While due to new teleworking habits, the global number of kilometres travelled by car has decreased, the use of the car has risen sharply after the lockdown.

After the lockdown, cars were the chosen means of transport for 58.1 of the total number of kilometres travelled, compared to 36.4% pre-lockdown.

At the same time, Leblud said that the use of bicycles was also booming, with some roads registering an increase of up to 400% in bike traffic.

"The cycling lanes that are being built will further strengthen this trend," he said. "The sales of bicycles is exploding, showing that many people are looking to make changes in their mode of transport."

"Obviously, some people will return to their usual mode of transport as soon as the situation normalises, but the Covid crisis has caused a real break in mobility across Europe and I think a large portion of the population will stick to their new transport habits," he added.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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