De Lijn attracts 43% more passengers in first quarter 2023

In the first quarter of 2023, 72,8 million travelers used the buses and streetcars of the Flemish public transport company De Lijn. That is an increase of 43% compared to the same period last year. De Lijn will also equip all its buses with 3D cameras to count more accurately.

Passenger numbers at De Lijn took a deep dive during the past few years. That drop was mainly attributed to the corona crisis. However, even in 2022, the number of passengers at 245 million was still 28% lower than in the pre-corona year 2019.

Still a 17% decrease

For example, there was a mouth mask requirement at De Lijn until the end of May 2022. But other factors also played a role. For instance, since the corona pandemic, we have seen more telecommuting and an increase in the share of bicycles in functional trips, for instance, for commuting.

In the first quarter of 2023, the figures are again on an upward trend, with a 43% increase compared to the same period in 2022. Compared to 2019, there is still a decrease of 17%, but this decrease, according to Flemish Minister of Mobility Lydia Peeters (Open Vld), is comparable to the reduction of other transport companies.

€10 million budget for 3D cameras

To get a more accurate picture of the number of passengers, De Lijn also wants to deploy more 3D counting cameras to register passengers getting on and off.

For example, subscribers do not scan their Mobil card every time they board, and De Lijn does not know where passengers with an SMS or digital ticket get on or off.

De Lijn has already tested those cameras at various locations. The transport company plans to equip all its vehicles with cameras from 2024-2027. The board of directors has also already provided a budget of 10 million dollars for this.


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