Slowest bus in the country axed

The pedestrian bus, a slow means of transport that operated across the pedestrian precincts of the East Flemish capital, is to disappear from sight.  The buses often drive round empty.  The city has decided not to renew its contract with operator Keolis.

The pedestrian buses were introduced when large swathes of the centre of Ghent were pedestrianised.  Initially they were very popular.  The aim was to allow people who have trouble getting around to access the city centre, but passenger numbers have never been high.

The buses proved to be more popular among tourists than Ghentians, who experience difficulty getting about.

Alderman Watteeuw believes the buses served their purpose: “At the start of the new circulation plan this was a way of saying people are still welcome in the city centre”. 

The bus service also suffered as a result of the corona crisis.  All too often the initiative was slammed as too expensive. 

“We’re examining how we can best use the 480,000-euro annual budget” says Watteeuw.

What the city’s plan is should become clear next month.  More cycle taxis in the city centre are a distinct possibility.

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