Laurie Dieffembacq

New Brussels tram route is a resounding success

The new tram service that links Brussels University Hospital and other areas of the northwestern municipality of Jette with the Simonis Metro Station in Koekelberg is proving to be a resounding success. Since it opened less than six months ago the Brussels public transport company MIVB has registered an average of 300,000 journeys per month on the route. 

This is far in excess of what had been expected and is comparable with journey number on the busy long-establish tram route 19 that runs between Groot-Bijgaarden (Dilbeek, Flemish Brabant) and De Wand in the Brussels district of Laken.    

MIVB’s CEO Brieuc de Meeûs told the financial daily ‘L’Echo that “Never before have we seen a new route fill up with passengers so quickly”.

Tram 9 has been running between Simonis and the Dikke Beuk tram and bus stop in Jette since early September last year. The trams passes through the commercial heart of Jette with its many shops and large Sunday market. MIVB’s spokeswomen An Van Hamme told the Brussels regional news platform Bruzz that.

“3,600 people take tram 9 to Simons during the morning rush hour. In the afternoon the same number of people take it in the opposite direction”.   

Despite its success there are no plans to increase the frequency of services on tram route 9. Currently there is a tram every 6 minutes in both directions during peak times. This falls to one tram every 15 minutes in the evenings and on Sundays. However, there are plans to deploy longer 40-metre long trams on the route. Currently MIVB uses 30-metre long trams on tram route 9.