Six out of ten Walloons never take the bus
A survey of MOBWAL on Walloon mobility shows that 63% of Walloons never take the bus, tram or metro. Nevertheless, the new Walloon government wants to encourage citizens to take public transport more often and reduce car us to one third. To this end, it intends, among other things, to make public transport free of charge for people under 26 and over 65.
Point is: it is not the cost of the bus, tram or metro that makes most Walloons reluctant to use public transport. According to the survey, the main reason why they use public transport hardly or never is because other modes of transportation are sufficient to meet their travel needs.
For many Walloons, public transport is not immediately a viable alternative to the car. And this for various reasons. For example, 25% of survey participants feel that places of destination or residence are not easily accessible by public transport.
Complex journeys (20%), long trips (18%), inappropriate schedules (14%), lack of comfort (13%), the fact that this mode of transport is physically impractical (10%), delays (8%) are also mentioned.
After all, the price of public transport (and not having the means) is not an argument in the decision not to use public transport. 5% of respondents consider that cost is a barrier. The other 95% believe that this is not a factor in their choice. In short, the Walloon authorities will have to find incentives other than simple free access.
The study seems to show that the most effective incentive would be to serve better certain areas abandoned by public transport. When asked how close they would like their bus stop (tram or metro) to be, 89% of Walloons answer: within 5 km. But as the study also reveals, the proximity of a bus stop does not always encourage them to take the bus.
Stib/Mivb: paying with bank card
Stib/Mivb, the Brussels public transport company, is already becoming slightly more customer-friendly with a ticket revolution in 2020. From then on, you no longer need a ticket, but only a bank card. In concrete terms, it will be possible to pay with your bank card (debit or credit) as long as it is contactless, thanks to the EMV or chip on your Eurocard, Mastercard or Visa.
The only constraint for the Stib is that they have to install a second reader in the vehicles. “It is a secure banking technology, but you, therefore, need a reader at the entrance, which must identify you and, at the exit, for the calculation,” says CEO Brieuc de Meeûs. “It will also be compatible with your smartphone, as soon as the EMV is launched, via applications that dematerialize bank cards.”
Mobib card rules
The other change at Stib will be that all machines used to buy tickets will be replaced both at surface stops and stations. There will be two models: one will allow you to recharge your Mobib card, the other will issue Mobib cards (in the past you had to buy it at a ticket office).
They will also be able to read barcodes, which will make things easier, especially for Event Pass. “No more fiddling with the wheel,” says Brieuc de Meeûs.