Europe jams on the breaks: ‘Uber is transport company’

December 21, 2017

“Uber is a transport company and has to apply with local legislation in the member states”, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled on Wednesday. This means in most European countries Uber will be considered a taxi service, needing a licence. Professional drivers In many European countries where Uber is present in larger cities […]

Brussels chooses electric articulated Solaris buses

December 20, 2017

Brussels public transport company MIVB/STIB has selected Solaris as supplier for 25 electric articulated buses. Solaris will also build the charging stations for the transport net. The new buses will appear in the streets of Brussels from 2019 on. 21 million euro Solaris will deliver 25 articulated ‘opportunity charging’ buses with a low floor and […]

Dutch railways among best in class in Europe

December 20, 2017

In the Netherlands trains are running more on time and are generally younger than in other European countries. Actually Dutch railways (NS) are among best in class, according to a benchmark study NS and railway managing company ProRail ordered. But the travelers themselves are not that satisfied. The study was done on request of the […]

America waves last Boeing 747 of fleet goodbye

December 15, 2017

Almost fifty years after its first flight Delta Airlines has decided to send the last active Boeing 747 used for passenger flights into retirement. The popular airplane, the preferred model by American presidents, made the world a smaller place and also accessible in less than 24 hours. Mass tourism and traveling to exotic destinations came […]

De Lijn considers selling tickets for waterbus

December 15, 2017

Flemish public bus and tram company De Lijn is considering to open up its ticket selling points for tickets for the waterbus on the river Scheldt too. A combined ticket or integration into the MOBIB combinet train-tram-bus system is an option too. Home-work traffic “The National Work Council (Nationale Arbeidsraad) has given a positive advice, […]

Two out of three Belgians want better public transport

December 12, 2017

According to the ‘Great Barometer’ study conducted by independant market research company Ipsos, nearly two thirds of the Belgians want better public transport. The cry for improvement is louder in Wallonia (71%) than in Brussels (68%) and Flanders (65%). No privatization It seems that with the tunnels in Brussels crumbling down and trains being too […]

François Bellot: ‘Belgian rail has too many pen-pushers’

December 11, 2017

In an interview with economical newspaper L’Echo, Belgian federal Minster of Mobility François Bellot (MR) says that at his age, he can speak “without mincing matters“. Like saying the “SNCB/NMBS has too many pen-pushers sitting at a desk and too few people in the field” or Brussels should have to work at night at its […]

Brussels adopts legal frame for free floating shared bikes

December 11, 2017

Brussels has adopted a legal frame to regulate the growing problem of free floating shared bicycles. Suppliers of these bikes will be responsible for removing left behind bikes and will have to comply with a set of safety and comfort standards to get a permit. A European first. Mudguard Every bike will need to have […]

First electric ‘black cabs’ roaming streets of London

December 06, 2017

On Tuesday the first of some 9.000 new electric taxis, the typical ‘black cabs’, started to roam the streets of London. The ‘black cabs’ replace the diesel versions, as all new taxis put into traffic are to be of the ‘low emission type’ from 2018 on by law. TX eCity by Geely Called the ‘TX […]

Nissan to launch robot-taxi service by 2020

December 06, 2017

Japanese car maker Nissan is counting on launching its commercial robot-taxi service ‘Easy Ride’ together with local partner DeNa by 2020, year of the Olympic Games in Tokyo. That was announced on Tuesday. To AFP news agency a Nissan spokesman declared that “up to 2020 it will be launched first in limited numbers in a […]

Parking stress, now also for bikers

December 05, 2017

Sharing/Renting bikes can be very handy in city centres. But they are getting very popular and that creates a new problem: where to leave the bike at peak hours when you don’t need him any more? It’s five o’clock in the afternoon, with your Velo city-bike you’re racing towards the train station with a few […]

“Brussels is slowly getting stuck.”

December 04, 2017

Former CEO of Brussels public transport company STIB/MIVB Alain Flausch leaves the Union of Public Transport which he has lead for 6 years. He is disappointed about Brussels and Belgium as a whole: “We should take other cities as an example,” he claims. In his 6 years as Secretary-General of the international Union of Public […]

Government adopts minimum service for TEC public transport

December 01, 2017

Right under the noses of CGSP and CSC union protestors on the pavement in front of the Walloon parliament in Namur, the latter adopted a first draft of law to enforce a minimum service during strikes. The proposal, being discussed for months and partially adopted by the PS party which no longer sits in the […]

Belgian rail company wants to reduce debt and personnel

November 30, 2017

Recently NMBS/SNCB’s new CEO Sophie Dutordoir presented a 5 year investment plan for the Belgian railway company, today she talks about the company’s plan to cut debts and reduce costs while increasing performance, taking into account that public transport is liberalised from 2020 onwards. Dutordoir has also to take into account a reduction in public […]

CMB: Belgium’s first hydrogen ferry to avoid Antwerp traffic jams

November 30, 2017

Belgian shipping group CMB will use a hydrogen ship, the ‘Hydroville’, to transport people and avoid traffic jams in Antwerp. It is considering hydrogen as an alternative fuel to propel his  entire fleet of (big) ships (in total 96 vessels). Green and clean The Hydroville has been baptised on Wednesday 29th and will cruise to […]

Airbus, Siemens and Rolls-Royce to build hybrid plane

November 29, 2017

European airplane builder Airbus, German technology concern Siemens and British airplane engine builder Rolls-Royce are teaming up to build a hybrid demonstration plane that will make its first test flight in 2020. This is what the three concerns announced on Tuesday at a press conference in London. One electric motor to start For the test […]

Monopoly to top Brussels public transport’s merchandising

November 28, 2017

The Brussels public transport company STIB/MIVB has developed a who set of merchandising to strengthen the company’s image, with on top of it a personalized version of the popular Monopoly board game. Internal task force “We contacted the maker of the board game Hasbro and worked internally with a small group of employees who love […]

SNCF scraps all car-trains except one

November 23, 2017

French railroad company SNCF is scrapping its car-trains on all lines, except the ones serving the Mediterranean. The decision was taken because the service is heavily loosing money, some 10 million euro per year. Popular in the seventies The trains, transporting private cars over the rails over large distances, was quite popular in the past, […]

High speed Intercity Direct train on time for first time in years

November 22, 2017

For the first time in years the high speed Intercity Direct train connecting Amsterdam, Schiphol, Rotterdam and Breda is riding on time. “It costed blood, sweat and tears from our people and the people at rail management company ProRail to improve performance”, says Dutch railways CEO Roger van Boxtel in an interview with Algemeen Dagblad. […]

300 White-collar jobs at risk at De Lijn

November 22, 2017

The Flemish public bus and tram transport company De Lijn is going to cut 285 to 295 out of 1.700 white-collar jobs in the next three years. De Lijn says it will be by natural gradual dismissal by not replacing people going into (early) retirement. Restructuring The job cut is part of the restructuring of […]

Taxistop matches carpooling between companies in Antwerp harbour

November 22, 2017

Car ride sharing organization Taxistop has developed with its platform a project to match carpool routes for employees of companies in the Antwerp harbour. Employees of six participating companies get a personalized offer to share a car with someone of a nearby company. Preregistration Taxistop developed the application after the ‘Slim Naar Antwerpen’ call […]

Eurotunnel changes name into Getlink

November 21, 2017

The Eurotunnel Group, exploiting the tunnel under the Channel, has renamed itself into ‘Getlink’ to underline its intention “to enter a new era of mobility infrastructure”. On the Euronext stock exchanges of Paris and London, the group keeps its GET code. 20 million passengers The group transports each year some 20 million passengers, 1,6 million […]

Uber orders 24.000 Volvo XC90s for autonomous fleet

November 21, 2017

Uber, worldwide operating transportation technology company, has ordered 24.000 Volvo XC90s with the Swedish-Chinese car manufacturer for its future autonomous driving fleet. The cars will be build on the Volvo’s SPA platform (Scalable Product Architecture) for bigger cars like the XC90 SUV and will be delivered between 2019 and 2021. Volvo didn’t say how many […]

French less likely to take train

November 17, 2017

Unlike in the rest of Europe, the train is loosing ground in France compared to other modes of transport. In 2016, it only represented 9,2% of all trips in France resulting from a decreasing number of passengers since 2011. 79% of all movements are done by car, sharing included. According to data from the French […]

VLM Airlines gets its Belgian flight licence

November 15, 2017

The resurrected air carrier VLM Airlines had to wait a year for it, but now it has its Belgian flight licence. It concerns the licence for the two A320 aircraft that it took over from Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium. The company plans to fly to China too. VLM, mainly known for the business flights between […]

Wolfsburg orders 14 fuel cell trains from Alstom

November 14, 2017

Last week, the German city of Wolfsburg (Lower Saxony) signed an 8,4 million euro deal with Alstom to equip the region with 14 hydrogen-powered trains. The development of the fuel cell train comes from a 2014 initiative regrouping Alstom and four German Landers. Wolfsburg, the home city of Volkswagen and dieselgate, will see its regional […]

Céline Fremault: ‘it’s either a toll or kilometre tax for Brussels’

November 14, 2017

Brussels Environment Minister Céline Fremault (cdH) announces the installation of 300 charging points in the capital just as the COP23 is taking place. She also claims that reducing transport emissions in Brussels goes through with either a toll system or the kilometre tax. For the 23rd UN Climate Conference (COP23) taking place in Bonn Germany, […]

Rubber pads to reduce train noise by half

November 14, 2017

Belgian railway network administrator Infrabel has presented a new rail pad, a rubber mat between the rails and sleepers, that reduces the noise nuisance of rail traffic by an average of 3 decibels or nearly half. “Infrabel will undoubtedly inspire other operators in Europe,” said Minister of mobility François Bellot (MR). Infrabel presented the new […]

Water bus connections to expand to Waaslandhaven

November 13, 2017

Havenbedrijf Antwerpen (Antwerp Port Company) wants to expand the offer of the water bus to the Waaslandhaven next year, in cooperation with water bus company Aqualine. This was confirmed on Saturday by Marc Van Peel, alderman for port matters (CD&V), during the inauguration of the second water bus between Antwerp and Hemiksem. “We hope to […]

Van Hool supplies 14 tram buses for Heizel to Brussels Airport line

November 09, 2017

Flemish public transport company De Lijn sees it ambitiuos: they want to take 10.000 cars off the roads every day in the northern edge of Brussels. Therefore De Lijn have ordered fourteen trambuses from bus builder Van Hool from Koningshooikt (Lier). Alternative to tram The trambuses are of the Exqui.City 24 Hyb type. They can […]

UberAIR: ‘same price as UberX but at 320 kph in the air’

November 09, 2017

During the Lisbon Web Summit, Uber chief product officer Jeff Holden confirmed a partnership with NASA for its future air taxis. Part of the Uber Elevate program, the company wants to revolutionize the urban air transport with small electric air taxis by 2023. Flying taxis With Uber Elevate, the amercian company aims at a friendly […]

La Rochelle launches first ever hydrogen powered ‘sea bus’

November 08, 2017

As part of the Yélo 2 project, La Rochelle city’s sea shuttle replaced its batteries with four tanks of hydrogen and a fuel cell creating the first ever hydrogen powered “sea bus”. The experiment will continue until August 31st 2018. The small sea shuttle from La Rochelle has seen its powertrain change as part of […]

Uber Belgium to enhance driver’s status

November 07, 2017

Uber Belgium has listened to the different demands from its drivers and the company will now offer more flexibility, reduce the passenger free cancel period to 2 minutes and charge the passenger 25 cent/min when the driver has to wait more than 2 minutes. Job’s attracticeness Before, we put our priority on growth and perhaps […]

Dutch industry asks government to invest in hyperloop

November 06, 2017

“The Netherlands should have the first test section of the hyperloop in Europe, a vacuum tube through which passengers can travel at speeds up to 1.200 kph. That’s why the government should make a one-off investment.” This is the message sent today to The Hague by companies and the semi-public sector. Cost for the construction […]

Brussels’ waterbus transported 10.000 more passengers

November 02, 2017

Created in 2013, the Waterbus connecting Vilvoorde to Brussels on the canal, has transported 42.000 passengers this season. It’s 10.000 more than last year. Born from an initiative from the Brussels’ association “Brussels by Water” and the Brabant association “Kanaaltochten Brabant”, the Waterbus service was active for the first time this year all days of […]

First public transport double deck buses in Holland

November 02, 2017

Dutch bus company Qbuzz started on Wednesday with the first double deck buses for public transport in the Netherlands on the Emmen-Groningen line. The TDX27 Astromega buses, build by Belgian bus builder Van Hool, offer 85 seats and extra comfort like Wi-Fi and USB charging points for its passengers. Five QLiner 300 buses will assure […]

VLM Airlines flies again between Antwerp and London

October 31, 2017

On Monday, the renewed VLM flight connection between Antwerp Airport and London City was officially ‘inaugurated’. VLM Airlines will fly the route again after nine years, this time with a Slovenian licence. The company is also working on connections between Brussels and China. Since September, there were no longer flights between Antwerp and London City […]

Wallonia: mobility plan to reduce car usage from 83 to 60%

October 31, 2017

The Belgian Walloon regional government has agreed last week on an ambitious plan to reduce car usage from 83 to 60% by 2030. Its Transport, Mobility and Road Safety Minister Carlo di Antonio (cdH) wants 4 out of 5 car trips in the future to be with at least two passengers and boost public transport […]

‘Pilots are quitting Ryanair massively’

October 30, 2017

According to information gathered by the Belgian newspaper “La Libre”, 110 pilots have quit Ryanair last week. Since 20.000 flights were cancelled due to the shortage of pilots available, Ryanair experiences a resignation rate of 23 per week. Ryanair had to cancel 20.000 flights until next March due to employee’s vacation scheduling problems. Since then, […]

Belgian rail: green light for 3,2 billion euro investment plan

October 30, 2017

The Executive Board approved the new 2018-2022 investments plan for Belgian railways SNCB/NMBS. It foresees 3,2 billion euro for commuter transport, train stations and equipment management and maintenance. On Friday, the SNCB/NMBS executive board approved the new power delegation and sub-delegation allowing the CEO Sophie Dutordoir to appoint her own general managers and department heads. […]

‘Autonomous car might tempt people to flee the city’

October 30, 2017

According to American real estate experts Justin Thompson and Garth Bostic the autonomous car can tempt people in the future to flee the city and move back to the green countryside, while traffic jams around the city will still remain and parking spaces in the city will become obsolete. The Los Angeles based experts asked […]

Brussels Airport orders 30 Chinese electric buses

October 30, 2017

In spite of earlier Belgian bus manufacturers’ objections, Brussels Airport has confirmed its order of 30 full electric busus with Chinese BYD. BYD Europe gets 330.000 euro per bus, which is 33% cheaper than the second best bidder, VDL Roeleare. Dumping practices Bus builders VDL and Van Hool suspect Chinese battery giant and bus and […]

Belgian students to design warning system for train passengers

October 27, 2017

Belgian Rail is challenging technical students to find a solution to warn passengers being too close to the edge of the train platforms while waiting, despite of the yellow line indicating the safety distance, the signs and the public call systems. Every day, railway company NMBS/SNCB transports 850,000 passengers in 3.500 trains on the world’s […]

German rail puts first self-driving minibus into use

October 26, 2017

Wednesday, the German railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB) presented its first self-driving minibus. This “intelligent” urban shuttle’s maiden voyage happen in the spa resort of Bad Birnbach in Bavaria. The new autonomous shuttle Deutsche Bahn introduces, is capable of transporting up to 12 passengers. This electric minibus has been developed by the French start-up EasyMile. […]

Walloon bus transports on average 11 passengers

October 25, 2017

A Walloon TEC bus transports on average 11 passengers and thus emits as much CO2 and NOx as eleven cars. Occupation in TEC buses is too low due in part to the loss of confidence in the availability of the public transport service, according to Walloon deputy Jean-Paul Wahl (MR). “According to the region minister’s […]

Singapore won’t allow a single extra car anymore

October 25, 2017

The rich city-state of Singapore won’t allow any extra cars on its already congested road network, not a single one. Only replacement cars will be allowed and the government promises to invest billions in public transport. From February 2018 on, the city state won’t allow its motorized vehicle fleet to grow anymore, including motorcycles. The […]

Belgian government blows whistle on Dutordoir on Wi-Fi in trains

October 25, 2017

Belgian federal government blows the whistle on NMBS/SNCB CEO Sophie Dutordoir on her intention of cancelling the project to provide wireless internet on the train. Dutordoir thinks it’s to costly and unnecessary as the entire train network will be covered by 3G and 4G in the near future. But government persists. Sophie Dutordoir, the new […]

Oosterweel: Europe’s biggest road construction site to start in 2018

October 25, 2017

Without unexpected obstacles, one of Europe’s biggest road construction sites, the Antwerp Oosterweel connection, will start in spring 2018 on the left bank of the river Scheldt (Linkeroever) and Zwijndrecht. A job that will take four and a half years and will cost 386 million euro. The Antwerp Ring will be open for traffic all […]

Ryanair pilots ready to go on strike

October 24, 2017

In a document sent to all Ryanair pilots, the European Employee Representative Council explains that they “have to consider the possibility to go on strike to ensure being heard on the negotiation table”. Ryanair pilots want to push the company’s management to offer the same benefits as other airlines. Last week, Madrid and London-Stansted Ryanair […]

London fights air pollution with 10£ ‘Toxicity-Charge’

October 24, 2017

London mayor Sadiq Khan starts his fight against growing air pollution by making every pre-2006 car driving in the city pay a 10 pound (11,21 euro) ‘Toxicity-charge’, officially called ‘Emissions Surcharge’ in addition to the already existing congestion charge. In the near future, every new bus and taxi will have to be hybrid or electric […]

Antwerp: 1.600 more passengers with new Albatros trams

October 24, 2017

The first of 14 new trams of the Albatros-type is delivered in Antwerp. They will offer an extended capacity of 1.600 passengers. If everything goes as planned, nine more will be operational before the end of the year, while the last four are expected at the beginning of 2018. The Albatros-tram is 60 meter long, […]

Free floating bike-sharing ‘banned’ before it arrives

October 23, 2017

Commercial free floating bike-sharing is on its way. Thirteen Flemish cities are approached by companies that intend to install those bicycles. To prevent the situation to derail like in Holland, measures have to be taken before they arrive, Ghent alderman Filip Watteuw (Groen) thinks. Unlike city-bikes such as Velo in Antwerp or Villo in Brussels, […]

SeaBubbles hovering boat taxi quits Paris for Lake Geneva

October 23, 2017

After numerous discussions with Paris city authorities, SeaBubbles won’t introduce it’s autonomous electric hovering boat taxis on the Seine but on the Geneva Lake instead. SeaBubbles is a new type of electric hydrofoil boats created by two French boaters that could revolutionize public transport. In only eighteen months, ex hydrofoil skipper Alain Thébault and windsurfing […]