Twelve percent more buses, trams, and metros in Brussels

The Brussels government and the board of directors of the Brussels public transport company MIVB/STIB have signed the new 2024-2028 management agreement. The agreement provides for an 11,9% increase in supply so that MIVB/STIB can count 457 million passengers by 2028, or over a third more than 2022. Indexation of fares is provided, but for next year, it does not cover preferential fares.

Usually, this agreement should have been ratified earlier. Still, at a previous attempt, the French-speaking socialist’s PS went obstructionist at the eleventh hour, just over the indexation of preferential fares. On Friday afternoon, the government approved the agreement again after the board had done so earlier.

New vehicles

The increase in supply involves increasing the frequencies of bus, tram, and metro from a minimum of 15 minutes from 7 a.m. during the week and 9 a.m. during weekends. On the joint route of metro lines 1 and 5, the maximum waiting time decreases to 2 minutes.

The contract also mentions commissioning new vehicles (buses, trams, and metros), new tram lines, and reorganizing existing lines, such as the 7, 25, and 62. The aim is still to electrify the entire bus fleet by 2035 (which includes the construction and adaptation of depots). The Region and MIVB/STIB will also work with the municipalities to improve public spaces to ensure a better flow of public transport.

Brussels Mobility and MIVB/STIB also work with other public transport companies on fare integration and network complementarity. At the same time, MaaS (Mobility as a Service via the Floya app) will be further expanded. The Region is developing a ‘Mobility Hubs’ network with MIVB/STIB.

Energy transition

In addition, the agreement includes agreements on the environment, energy (traffic) safety, drug use, more public toilets, transparency, and management, among others.

For example, MIVB/STIB will contribute to the Region’s energy transition by reducing consumption by 1,9% per year, including installing additional solar panels and adapting construction and renovation methods. Reducing noise and vibrations associated with public transport operations is also one of the objectives.

Modal shift

“We will enable MIVB/STIB to make life easier for all Brussels residents and allow the city to breathe. 12% more buses, trams and metros, a quality service, ever more accessible for people with reduced mobility and safer for women that is what is in the pipeline,” Mobility Minister Elke Van den Brandt (Groen) summed up the new management agreement.

The Brussels Region wants to achieve a modal shift whereby the use of private cars decreases by 25%, and the use of public transport increases for distances greater than two kilometers.

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