Little interest for City Pass in Ghent and Antwerp
The combined season ticket offering train travel within Antwerp or Ghent and bus and tram travel on De Lijn’s services across is proving to be anything but a success. According to figures that appear in an article in Friday’s edition of the daily ‘De Morgen’ just 540 people have purchased a City Pass since the new season ticket was launched at the start of the year.
The Alderman responsible for transport in Ghent and Antwerp believe that the lack of interest is due to the cost of the City Pass (60 euro/month) relative to what it offers those that purchase it. They believe that there would be more takers if the pass included rail services in an area that is wider that just within the city limits of Ghent or Antwerp.
The public transport passengers association TreinTramBus already raised this issue when making a preliminary evaluation of City Pass in March.
Many commuters into Ghent come from municipalities just outside the city limits such as Wetteren and Deinze.
Nevertheless, the Flemish Transport Minister Ben Weyts (nationalist) still has faith in the city pass. New points of sale will be introduced and a City Pass that is valid for 24 hours will also be launched.
In the period up to 5 November just 459 Antwerp City passes were sold. 384 of these were monthly season tickets and 75 were annual season tickets. In Ghent just 79 City Passes were sold: 67 monthly and 12 annual season tickets. The City Pass generated just 33,321 euro income, while the cost of promoting the season ticket was 35,000 euro.