Brussels public transport company to continue to invest despite a big fall in passenger number in 2020

The coronavirus pandemic saw the number of passengers using the Brussels public transport company MIVB’s busses, trams and metros fall by more than 40% in 2020. However, that that do choose to travel with MIVB are increasingly satisfied with the quality of its services and the public transport company intends to continue to invest to make further improvements. 

After years of growth in passenger numbers 2020 saw a significant fall in the number of passengers using the MIVB network. The company’s bus, tram and metro services accounted for 244.2 million journeys during 2020, a fall of 42.9% on the number of journeys recorded during 2019. The metro underground train services saw the greatest fall in passenger numbers. Meanwhile, there was a slight increase in journeys made on MIVB’s bus services.

Fewer passengers meant less income. The coronavirus crisis saw MIVB’s income from ticket sales fall by 90 million euro. Meanwhile, the stricter hygiene measures in force to ensure that passengers could travel safely and protection measures such as masks and screens cost the public transport company 27 million euro.

Despite the fall in passenger numbers MIVB continued to invest in improvements to its network, with two new bus routes, the further implementation of its Bus Plan and work to extend tram line 9 to the Heizel. Work also commenced on metro line 3 near to Brussels South Railway Station. A number of new trams, metro trains and busses also entered service.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday MIVB’s CEO Brieuc de Meeûs said that the challenge will now be to persuade people that previously didn’t use public transport to do so in the future. 

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