600 new bus drivers mean that timetables will return to normal from January

The Flemish public transport company De Lijn has recruited 600 drivers. De Lijn has suffered from severe staff shortages that have led to numerous services having been scrapped. The situation was particularly acute in Flemish Brabant. The recruitment of the new drivers will mean that service levels will be able to return to normal from some time in January.  

The services on around 20 routes were scrapped in November due to driver shortages. The revised timetable will remain in force for another month, by which time the new recruits will have been trained and able to enter operational service.    

De Lijn’s Head of Human Resources Filip Claes told VRT to VRT Radio 2’s consumer affairs programme ‘De inspecteur’ that “We have held a number of job days supported by campaigns in the media. There was a big turnout and in the meantime we have recruited 600 new drivers”. This is more that De Lijn’s original aim of recruiting 570 new drivers.  

In time the new recruits will ensure that the timetable can return to normal.

Mr Claes estimates that this should be the case by sometime next month.  

However, he would not be drawn on whether passengers with season tickets would be given compensation. “We are currently discussing this with the Ombudsman”, Mr Claes said.