Jelle Jansegers

MIVB passengers will soon be able to buy a ticket using their debit card or bank app

The Brussels public transport company MIVB is to make it easier for those that only use public transport occasionally to purchase tickets to use its busses, trams and metro services. The news that from sometime next year passengers will be able to purchase tickets using their debit card or their e-banking app was announced by MIVB’s CEO Brieuc de Meeus in an interview with the Francophone daily ‘Le Soir’.  

Currently, those wishing to use public transport services operated by MIVB have three options: an annual or monthly season ticket that is carried on a personalised chip card called a Mobib, to load one or more individual or multi-journey tickets on to a personalised or anonymous Mobib card or to purchase a paper ticket from a vending machine or aboard a bus or tram.

The changes announced by Mr de Meeus means that from next year MIVB will enter the era of contactless payment and payments via banking apps.

MIVB’s spokeswoman An Van hamme told VRT news that “We would first like to test the system with between 500 and 600 users. If this produces good results we can equip all trams, metros and busses with what is technically necessary: card readers and codes. Then everything should be up and running by mid-2020”.

MIVB cites the example of the UK capital London, where Transport for London already uses such a system. There the system works well and without issues. "This is aimed at occasional users who will be able to gain access to public transport more easily”, Ms Van hamme added. The Flemish public transport company De Lijn is also currently developing a similar system.