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STIB to reopen front doors on buses and trams from next week
Brussels public transport company STIB will reopen the front doors of its buses and trams to passengers on Monday, reports Bruzz.
The doors were closed at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis to minimise the risk of infection for the driver. However, the Flemish company De Lijn has said that the front doors of its vehicles will remain closed for the time being.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, passengers on buses and some older trams have had to board the vehicle via the back doors, and on buses, the first seats behind the driver's cab have been unavailable to passengers. That will change on Monday. Travellers will again be able to board from both the front and back with all seats available.
De Lijn is not yet ready to change its front door policy. "We have no concrete plans to reopen the front doors for the time being," a spokesperson for the company said. That will certainly remain the case as long as the mouth mask obligation continues to apply. There has been no reaction from the Walloon public transport company TEC on whether to make the front of its buses acessible again.
At the beginning of this month, passenger movement TreinTramBus lobbied for the reopening of all doors, partly because it's now difficult for passengers to ask the driver for information. Trams and buses also lose more time at the stops as everyone has to get on and off through the same door.
Meanwhile, contactless payment for tickets will remain the standard in Brussels. Sometime ago, STIB introduced contactless payment for those who do not have a season ticket or a multi-session card and this will continue, meaning it's not possible to buy a ticket from the driver. "People can mainly use contactless payments,” a STIB spokesperson said. “People have already adopted this habit in the past two years."
STIB announced that it reached a new record number of passengers last week since the outbreak of the pandemic.