‘Bike-bus’ to cross river Scheldt to Antwerp harbour
Four articulated buses with three extra wide doors for cyclists to bring their bike along, are commuting as a test project from Wednesday on between stops near the Tijsmanstunnel and the Waaslandhaven. The interior of the buses has been transformed to hang bicycles during the ride.
The plans for the project already leaked in the press in January, but on Monday Flemish Mobility Minister, Ben Weyts (N-VA) and CEO of the Antwerp harbour, Jacques Vandermeiren effectively inaugurated the new bus connection.
The first weeks will be considered ‘test weeks’ for employees of the Antwerp Port and four major companies in the harbour. As from April 3rd the project is operational and open to the public.
The buses will be intensively used between the four stops: two on the right bank of the river (Tijsmanstunnel on the Noorderlaan and Scheldelaan) and two on the left bank (Tolplein and Waaslandhaven Noord). Service will start at 4.45 h in the morning and the last bus will ride at 23 h.
Every 15 minutes
During rush hours and shift switches there will be a bus service every quarter of an hour, on other moments there is only one bus an hour. Flanders and the Antwerp harbour will invest 1,8 million euro in this project. Vandermeiren wanted a quick start “because it is better to pick things up as you go along”.
Running the bike-bus service will cost 1,8 million euro a year of which the Flemish government will pay half.