Brussels transport company MIVB/STIB’s fares are likely to be indexed from September 2024 and consequently increase by 6,9%, except for preferential fares. So reports the business newspaper L’Echo.
For the past ten years, all MIVB/STIB fares have been frozen, and no indexations have been implemented, precisely to make Brussels public transport more accessible. At the same time, the Brussels government is also freeing up 5,7 million euros for MIVB/STIB to shelter homeless people and drug users in Brussels metro stations.
Automatic indexation of prices on the way?
Last week, the Brussels government concluded a budget agreement for 2024. To reduce the debt ratio, 150 million euros must be saved. Radical cuts, such as the scrapping of bus or tram lines or operational staff, will not be forthcoming. Still, according to L’Echo, a 6,9% fare increase is, therefore, imminent at STIB/MIVB, except for preferential fares.
The principle of automatic indexation of prices will also be studied as part of the future 2024-2028 management contract binding MIVB/STIB and the Brussels Capital Region. “This will give MIVB/STIB more predictability regarding its own resources to better cope with costs rising year after year,” said Minster-President Rudi Vervoort (PS). That new management contract should be approved by the end of the year.
Extra funds to tackle insecurity
The Brussels government will also allocate MIVB/STIB extra funds to develop an integrated approach to the reception of homeless people and drug users in Brussels metro stations. This will involve cooperation with various homeless organizations. The Brussels government makes 5,7 million euros available to MIVB/STIB for this purpose.
Brussels metro stations frequently face nuisance due to homeless people and drug addicts. This leads to a feeling of insecurity among both passengers and MIVB/STIB staff. Passenger complaints, for instance, have more than doubled in two years.
Concrete plans include providing staff to patrol metro stations around the clock. They should refer homeless people and drug addicts to assistance or shelters. The number of security patrols in metro stations should also be increased by a third.
In 2022, MIVB/STIB received 1,016 billion euros in subsidies from the Brussels Region for operating costs. In total, De Lijn sold over 245 million passenger trips last year.