De Lijn is the main public transit operator of Flanders, Source: De Lijn

Flanders removes 3,000 bus better accessibility

Flanders removes 3,000 bus better accessibility

This represents 17% of all bus stops in the Belgian region

De Lijn, the public transit operator providing city and intercity bus and tram services in the autonomous region of Flanders, has announced that at the start of next year, it aims to implement a new Basic Accessibility Plan. And a big part of this plan actually consists in reducing 17% of bus stops available regionally, which to many may seem like the opposite of providing better accessibility to public transport.

The Flemish Ministry of Mobility, which controls De Lijn, however, explained last week what they meant by improving basic accessibility for commuters. Basically, the aim of the transport officials is to make the entire service provision more efficient and optimized so that it better matches demand with supply.

What’s behind the Basic Accessibility plan?

Of the nearly 20,000 stops currently in use, 16,392 will remain after 6 January 2024. Making the network leaner will actually free up resources to service the busier lines more efficiently.

The Basic Accessibility system will be composed of layers, and the backbone of it all will be the rail network in Flanders. Thus, De Lijn services will better synchronize with the services of the railway operator NMBC/SNCB.

The next level will be the core network, consisting of bus and tram lines that connect large residential and commercial areas, and hospitals.

We will be much more responsive to demand, using resources efficiently where they are needed," explained Ann Schoubs, director general of De Lijn, as quoted by Belga news agency.

The core network will thus include lines with high demand, which means that some of the lines with lower demand may disappear, hence the removal of bus stops.

The last layer will consist of the so-called “flex stops”. These will only be served when a local resident makes a request. A special “flex transport” service will succeed the previous on-call buses.



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