STIB: after lockdown dip, transport use in Brussels will return to normal
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    STIB: after lockdown dip, transport use in Brussels will return to normal

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    Brussels’ public transport company STIB believes commuters will gradually return to the network and bring occupancy rates out of the current lockdown slump.

    “We are not very worried, we think that the situation will 100% return to normal,” spokesperson Françoise Ledune said.

    On Friday, a report by road safety institute VIAS found that residents in Brussels were turning away from the city’s transport network.

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    “It seems that people are afraid to take public transport again,” VIAS researcher Julien Leblud said, as the institute reported that people were favouring the car more and that bike use was also booming.

    While the nearly three-month lockdown did impact STIB’s occupancy rates, Ledune said that the company was already seeing an uptick.

    “From the first week since the lockdown ended, we saw that occupancy rates in the overground [network] were climbing back up,” she said. “Every week, there is an increase of 5% in the number of travellers.”

    “We have already seen occupancy grow by 45% for the metro and by 49% for the overground network,” she added.

    Ledune said the current slump was similar to the one seen after the 2016 terror attacks in Brussels, in which one of the locations hit was Maelbeek metro station.

    “We initially recorded a significant dip, but then, things returned to normal and there was later even an increase in the number of commuters,” she said.

    The Brussels Times