Public transit continues to struggle during the pandemic
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Public transit continues to struggle during the pandemic

Credit: Louis Espéret / Flickr

Belgian public transit continues to suffer as a result of the coronavirus crisis, according to recent data from the Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport.

The number of trips Belgians made from home to work or school was down by ten percent in November and December compared to before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite efforts from public transit operators to promote the health and safety measures they’re taking, people are reluctant to use public transport, even more so than they were in June of 2020.

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Bruzz reported that 45% of respondents to a survey said they consider trains to be not very safe from a health standpoint. That number was 54% when it came to the metro, trams, and buses. In June those numbers were 41% and 48%, respectively.

The survey also found that 30% of respondents said they travel more by foot now than they did before the crisis, which is down from 33% in June. For bikes, that number decreased from 22% in June to 16% for November and December.

Commuting trips saw a similar decrease, with 16% of people reporting to have used a bike to get to work or school in June but 11% in November or December, and the numbers for walking dropping from 7% to 5%.

One reason for a decrease in the use of public transit is the lack of people commuting anywhere at all: Belgians went to work an average of 3 days per week in November and December, with many people taking winter holidays or teleworking as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Helen Lyons
The Brussels Times