De Lijn’s Annelies Meynaerts told VRT News that the dispatching centres has a similar role to that of air traffic control in aviation.
"It monitors all the buses and trams that are on the roads. It also provides the first point of contact to drivers if something untoward happens. However, if the dispatch centre is not manned it would be irresponsible to allow buses and trams onto the roads”, Ms Meynaerts said.
Although the lion’s share of buses and all tram services in Antwerp province are not running it is possible that some routes that operate between places in Antwerp province and locations in other provinces (Limburg, Flemish Brabant, East Flanders) might run as normal as they fall under a different provincial dispatching centre.
De Lijn apologises to passengers for any inconvenience caused. Staff at De Lijn have been taking industrial action all week as part of an ongoing dispute on a series of grievances.