De Lijn’s first tram-bus (ringtrambus) was officially launched on Sunday at Brussels Airport. It must help relieve traffic in the north of Brussels by connecting the airport to the University Hospital of Jette, via Brucargo, the center of Vilvoorde and the Heysel plateau.
Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport, stressed the importance of such a line. “The airport has one of the busiest bus stations in the country. There are more buses running here than plane movements and, alongside the thousands of passengers on these planes, there are also thousands of commuters using public transport. “
With their hybrid motor, these 14 tram-buses, each 24 meters long, are not only quieter, they are also cleaner. These vehicles, which have the appearance of a tram while being quite handy, will take the route of line 820, with a few exceptions. The tram-bus will run every 30 minutes during the summer holidays before seeing its frequency double in September. It will run every half hour on Saturday and every hour on Sunday.
It evolves on its own site for most of its route. “This is a first for Flanders and Belgium and it is no coincidence that this is done in this region”, comment Roger Kesteloot, director-general de De Lijn. “Mobility is a major challenge in Flemish Brabant. The northern belt of Brussels is one of the most congested areas. The tram-bus constitutes a first accomplishment with a view to changing the situation “, according to the head of the Flemish public transport company. The tram-bus fleet cost 12.2 million euros. Flanders has invested some 60 million euros in the project.
The Brussels Minister for Mobility, Elke Van den Brandt (Groen!), The managing director of Brussels Airport Arnaud Feist, the director general of De Lijn Roger Kesteloot and the Flemish Minister for Mobility, Lydia Peeters.