Flemish Parliament approves decree for ‘basic accessibility’
The Flemish Parliament has approved a decree for ‘basic accessibility’ on Wednesday. This decree reorganizes the public transport policy in Flanders and puts an end to the principle of ‘basic mobility’ (with a nearby bus stop for every citizen).
Public transport will be divided in layers. The first layer will be a ‘core network’ with direct connections between cities and suburbs. The second layer will connect the direct lines to the outskirts and to smaller districts. The third layer will be tailor-made connections, used for the so-called ‘last mile’. These will be private of local initiatives to meet private needs, like call-up bus services, taxis, shared cars or bikes, shuttles of companies…
For practical reasons, Flanders will be divided in 15 transport regions. They will function as a consultative body, where representatives of participating municipalities gather on a monthly basis with mobility actors, like public transport company, De Lijn, or the agency for roads and traffic (Agenstschap Wegen en Verkeer). Goal is to offer municipalities the opportunity to have a say in the public transport policy on their territory.
De Lijn found inspiration for the idea in Danmark. The Danish already have a system called FlexDanmark, where people can dial or log in the digital platform to communicate their transport needs. A dispatching team looks at the alternatives and offers the best suited solution for users
The decree also provides mobility monitoring. Flanders also wants to collect data about traffic safety and the intensity of the different means of transport and types of vehicles used. Those data will be necessary to check whether goals of the mobility plans and traffic safety are met.
‘Basic accessibility’ should be introduced by 2020 but before that, some practical issues still need to be arranged.