Brussels to give under-25s free public transport from next year

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Brussels public transport operator, Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company (STIB)Has announced that from September 2021, its services will be free for passengers under 25 years of age.

The transit company’s budget has been increased from € 61 million (US $ 72.5 million) – to € 945 million for 2021, which allowed it to absorb the impact on revenue.

Rudy Vervoort, Minister-President Brussels Capital Region, Added: “I am delighted that we have reached a budgetary agreement in 2021 in principle allowing free STIBs for our youth, greater numbers of access to public transport are necessary and its implementation is underway. “

According to the local government’s initial plans, free public transport for people over 65 was also due to begin, but the lack of funds meant that the two plans could not be clubbed together.

On top of these changes, authorities in Brussels are planning additional investment in public transport networks that will improve the frequency of buses and increase network capacity.

It will also upgrade its bus fleet from diesel to electric and hybrid vehicles, and expand its area of ​​operations and routes in the coming years.

In late October, STIB began construction on the expansion of its metro with a project of € 174.95 million, which will connect the Belgian capital’s Forest and Evere districts by the end of 2030 – running through the city center .

The project also includes a new metro station and expansion of the Lemonier tram station.

air quality

Increased investment in public transport – at a time when transit officials globally are tightening their belts – Brussels record on air quality is being scrutinized.

In October, the city Team up Bloomberg to launch with philanthropy Brussels Clean Air Partnership, Bringing together government, universities, local research centers and non-governmental organizations to provide a science-based, coordinated approach to curb air pollution in the Brussels-Capital Region. The initiative will use low-cost technologies to monitor air pollution and fill data gaps in ground level local pollution statistics.

According to the latest, air pollution claims 9,000 people die every year in Belgium and more than 400,000 in Europe annually. European Environment Agency (EEA) report.

In June 2019, the top court of the EU Governance Brussels could no longer rely on its previous practice of average air pollution measures across the city – some environmental groups said the scale of pollution shone at key sites such as the European Union district.

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Published December 23, 2020 – 15:00 UTC