As public transport has survived a massive dip during the pandemic, STIB CEO Brieuc de Meeus has disclosed something that could bring it into a positive light, after announcing a 12% increase in passengers in 2021.
At a presentation of STIB’s 2021 activity report, De Méeus revealed that a total of 273,8 million trips were reported, just more than 64 per cent of 2019 figures reported before the pandemic led to lockdowns and a drastic decrease in users of public transport.
The increase is attributed to STIB’s decision to maintain its €391.5 million investment despite of the pandemic. In the previous year, the Brussels public transport operator introduced new bus lines, extended tram line 9, as well as launched 202 new hybrid vehicles.
Moreover, De Méeus’ proudest accomplishment was the rollout of a new fleet of metro trains, “Everyone will have seen the arrival of the new M7 trains in our stations. These trains are beautiful and were made in Spain. Inside, they are both beautiful and comfortable.”
The investments helped STIB transport to cover 50.6 million km in the previous year, breaking the record for distance travelled. Along with this, at the same time, passenger satisfaction is up, with a customer survey scoring customer satisfaction at 7.3 out of ten, not far off STIB’s target of 7.4 by 2023.
Along with this, the STIB has already reported an average ridership of 84.2 per cent for the week of May 16 in, 2022, and the company is looking to increase efforts throughout the year.
This will be through new TNG trams (similar to the M7 metro trains), 10 of which are presently in service. Furthermore, the company is looking to increase the size of its electric bus fleet and increase the frequency of metros.
Finally, 760 job openings for 2022 will bring the company to 10,000 employees.