Additional STIB staff deployed to help commuters navigate reversed escalators
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    Additional STIB staff deployed to help commuters navigate reversed escalators

    Louise metro station. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

    Public transport company STIB has deployed additional staff in a busy metro station in order to assist commuters navigate a slight shift in the escalator system.

    An increased presence of STIB agents was reported by commuters in the Louise station over the past weeks, which also coincided with the installation of card readers on the ticket barriers.

    “It’s for the simple reason that we have changed the direction of the escalators,” STIB spokesperson Cindy Arents said.

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    Arents said that the situation could be “a bit disturbing for commuters,” and that the agents were deployed in order to help them better adapt to the changes, and to avoid them getting “stuck at the top or bottom of the escalators.”

    “I thought they were there to check my pass, but they just pointed me to the correct escalator,” one commuter said after an initial encounter with the staff.

    Technical reasons linked to the installation of the card readers, installed in the station in September, could explain the decision to swap the escalators, Arents added.

    Louise is one of several stations outfitted with card readers at the ticket barriers, as part of a broad crackdown against free-riders in the city’s largest transport network, with all stations expected to be outfitted with the readers by 2020.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times