Greenpeace study: ‘public transport in EU far too expensive’

Belgium scores poorly when it comes to affordable public transport. That’s according to an analysis by Greenpeace. Due to the high cost and a small range of discounts, Belgium finishes 12th in the European ranking.

But Belgium is not the only European country that suffers from that problem. Greenpeace’s analysis shows that public transport in many European countries is too expensive, while some, like Luxembourg and Malta, made it free.

Brussels scores better

Greenpeace looked closely at the public transportation of 30 European countries and their capitals. They were scored out of 100 based on four criteria: simplicity of the system, discounts for vulnerable groups, VAT, and the price of a ticket for an extended period. The last category weighed most heavily.

The best in class are Luxembourg and Malta, where all public transport is free. Belgium scores only 29 out of 100, landing in the middle of the class.

“To travel nationwide, passengers must take separate season tickets from transport companies NMBS/SNCB, MIVB/STIB, De Lijn, and TEC. All these season tickets together cost more than 5 000 euros,” Greenpeace writes in the report.

Brussels scores noticeably better, with 80,4 points out of 100. But compared to other capitals, that still means only 13th place. The approximately 500 euros for an annual ticket is comparable to the European average, but you cannot take the train with this ticket. Moreover, there is a wide range of discounts, except for people with disabilities.

‘Climate ticket’

Greenpeace calls for a ‘climate ticket’ in all European countries, as Germany introduced in early April, and exists in Hungary and Austria. Such a ticket would allow a person to use all public transport cheaply.

“Mobility is the second largest expense of European households,” says Joeri Thijs of Greenpeace. “Affordable public transport is necessary, but many governments treat it as a luxury good. As a result, millions rely on buses, streetcars, subways, and trains daily. A simple and affordable ‘climate ticket’ for public transport would be a huge step toward inclusive climate policy. Such a ticket reduces people’s bills and the climate impact of our mobility.”


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