STIB to become free of charge for youth, seniors as of summer 2020
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    STIB to become free of charge for youth, seniors as of summer 2020

    The main transport operator in Brussels will be free of charge for residents of certain ages. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

    Rides on the network of Brussels’ transport operator STIB will be free of charge as of next summer for residents of certain ages, transport officials confirmed.

    Emerging from a board meeting at the start of the week, STIB chief Brieuc de Meeûs announced the tentative date of July 2020 for the implementation of the measure, according to RTBF.

    Once implemented, the measure will allow residents under the age of 25 and over the age of 65 to use the network of the main transport operator in the city for free, at an approximate cost of €12 million for the local budget.

    The news comes after the proposal to make public transport fully free for a portion of Brussels residents was included in the regional government’s coalition agreement as part of a broader plan to boost mobility throughout the region.

    The 2020 date was included in the original agreement, a date which both the transport company and authorities have said will be aimed for, even as authorities say budgetary formalities are still under discussion.

    “We now need to see what are the budgetary implications of this measure,” a spokesperson for mobility minister, Elke Van den Brandt, told the outlet, adding that the 2020 budget was currently under discussion.

    Once STIB receives the green light from the government, de Meeûs said that a period of approximately six months was needed to carry out the technical updates to put the measure in place.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times