Expatica news

Public transport beckons Brussels commuters

19 January 2006

BRUSSELS — Half of the commuters who travel by car to Brussels each day have not discounted the idea of eventually swapping to public transport.

“Public transport still has a lot of potential, despite the record figures that public transport companies have recorded in recent years,” Brussels Free University transport and durable mobility professor Cathy Macharis said.

Macharis surveyed 2,000 Brussels commuters over their choice of transport and found that almost half of the respondents who travel by car to the capital each day have not ruled out the thought of using public transport.

If public transport was free, almost 11 percent would immediately make the swap. Some 37 percent would also consider swapping over, newspaper ‘De Standaard’ reported on Thursday.

However, to convince the doubters, improved connections between various forms of public transport would need to be offered and the speed of public transport would also need to be improved.

Macharis said only 34 percent of those with a company car said they have not ruled out using public transport for the Brussels commute. This is due to the fact that many of them need their car for work.

In total, 40.7 percent of those surveyed use the train to commute to Brussels. Almost 40 percent use the car, while 5.5 percent use the metro, 4 percent take the bus and 3.8 percent the tram.

The average distance between home and work is 31km and a commuter takes on average 43 minutes to arrive at work. Commuters leave home on average at 7.39am and leave work at 4.55pm.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news