Coronavirus: Belgian rail releases app to avoid overcrowding in trains

Coronavirus: Belgian rail releases app to avoid overcrowding in trains
© Belga

A mobile app aiming to encourage travellers on the Belgian rail to avoid boarding an overly crowded train to reduce coronavirus risks is available for download as of Wednesday.

The application will use colour codes to inform travellers on the real-time rate of occupancy of a given train, in an effort to encourage them to avoid trains that are too crowded.

Rail operator SNCB/NMBS said the application was available for download for both Android and iOs via a generated link and that it would appear in the app library within 24 hours.

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"The occupancy rate of a train at a given time is displayed via colour codes so that the traveller can choose to take another train," the company said in a press release.

The company said it was banking on the app to "help ensure a better distribution of travellers across the various trains."

To give real-time information on how crowded a given train is, the app will run using pre-existing data, such as the number of ticket sold, as well as "real-time data" provided by the train conductor.

According to earlier reports of the app's release, train conductors will carry out manual counts of the passengers on board a train to update the app.

The release of the application comes as SNCB shuffles its timetable and boosts its train offer in an effort to ensure social-distancing and other measures to avoid coronavirus infections can be respected on board its trains.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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