De Lijn to introduce chip card ticketing

The Flemish public transport company De Lijn has launched a new chip card payment system. The cards that are similar to the Oyster Cards used on public transport in London and the Navigo cards used in Paris will be rolled out gradually across the network between now and the end of 2014.

From next month, the buses and trams operated by De Lijn will start to become equipped with card-readers for the new ticketing system.

By the end of 2013, all of the De Lijn’s vehicles will have at least one card reader. A year later, paper ticketing will be gone for good on Flemish buses and trams.

It is hoped that the new cards will also be able to be used on buses, trams and trains operated by Belgium’s three other public transport providers.

A chip card ticketing system has already been in existence on services provided by the Brussels public transport company MIVB since 2008.

De Lijn’s buses and trams are also to be equipped with on-board computers that will provided more accurate information about journey times and keep drivers up to date about diversions.

97 million Euro is being invested in the new system.