Belgium: public transport prices increase
Whether they are for taking the train, the bus or the metro, the public transport ticket prices have increased in the last ten years. Some companies have followed the average cost of life increase where other simply increased prices because of a service evolution. In the capital, on the other hand, yearly pass prices see a dramatic drop. Daily newspaper, La Dernière Heure, rounds up all the public transport prices of Belgium.
17,6 % for SNCB/NMBS tickets
“For some years, the company had no agreement with the government and increased the price under the average consumption index, which stands at 18 %”, explains the spokesperson for the Belgian statistics office. “We have to be in par with the yearly health index’s evolution, it’s in our contract”, explains the SNCB/NMBS spokesperson, Vincent Bayer.
For this new year, the prices will be adapted from February 1st and increased by 0,69%, while the home-work yearly pass will increase by 1,18%. “It’s below the index (1,64%)”, adds the spokesperson.
President of the association Navetteurs.be, Gianni Tabbone, thinks that even with this evolution, the train is still the best alternative. The only issue, according to him, is to be found in the punctuality and it’s not getting any better. According to data, 2018 numbers are worse than the previous year. On the Liège-Brussels and Namur-Arlon lines, only one train out of six was on time.
TEC: 92,3% increase in ten years
In Wallonia, the price of the simple bus ticket has nearly doubled (+92,3%) since 2009. Back then, it costed 1,30 euro but the same ticket bought from the driver today will cost 2,50 euro. This impressive increase is partly due to the introduction of the Mobib card in 2015.
To promote the use of the card, the simple bus ticket costs more when bought to the driver. Purchased online or through one of the terminals, the simple bus ticket only costs 2 euro. “We want to favour the Mobib card”, explains the Walloon Transport Operator (OTW) marketing manager, Stéphane Tiery, “that way the driver has to sell fewer tickets, which means carrying less money and less time lost at a standstill.” The manager invites all users to get a Mobib card and top it up it online. The card costs 5 euro, is valid five years and can be topped up anytime.
STIB/MIVB reduces yearly school pass prices by more than half
For the Brussels Region public transport, there is no price increase in 2019. 2018 was its busiest year counting more than 400 million passengers, which can be explained by the absence of a price increase since 2014. A unique ticket still costs 2,10 euro today. “It’s a political choice”, explains Mobility Minister, Pascal Smet (SP.A), “we didn’t want to increase prices to encourage people to stop using their car.”
The government has even decided to reduce the price of yearly school passes for the first child. It was at 200 euro ten years ago, fell to 120 euro in 2014 and now stands at 50 euro. “The idea is to reduce costs for families and to encourage the use of public transport, it is essential that the STIB/MIVB offers qualitative transport within the reach of the greatest number of people”, adds Minister Smet’s cabinet.
De Lijn’s ticket price has doubled
“Like other sectors, we follow the average cost of life index,” explains Flemish transport company, De Lijn, “On February 1st, prices will increase again.” Yearly passes, text tickets or daily passes will cost 1,73% more. In comparison, the standard ticket was at 1,60 euro ten years ago, 2 euro in 2014 and now it costs three euro.
“This increase is due to the fact that in 2015, the ticket changed from zone to time dependent. It’s now valid for 60 min”, explains De Lijn. The yearly pass for 12 to 24 year-olds will increase from 209 to 214 euro. For those aged between 25 and 64, it will stand at 319 euro and 54 euro for the elderly. Daily text tickets will also increase to 7,15 euro. In fine, compared to all other public transport companies, De Lijn is the one where prices have increased most.