November 14, 2023
De Lijn will delete 3,247 bus stops in January as part of the introduction of the second phase of basic accessibility. A quarter of the remaining stops are no longer regularly served.
On January 6, De Lijn will start the most important phase of the introduction of basic accessibility, one of the largest reforms of its network ever. The line network of the Flemish transport company will be tightened: a network of core lines will be created between municipalities. Passengers who want to travel more closely must change at a bus stop to another form of transport, such as a shared bicycle or call bus.
Of the almost 20,000 bus stops that De Lijn now serves throughout Flanders, 16,392 will remain after January 6. That is a reduction of 17 percent. Only flex buses stop at one in four remaining stops. These only run if passengers have requested the ride in advance.
This became apparent on Tuesday during the presentation of the second phase of basic accessibility by Ann Schoubs, the CEO of De Lijn, and Flemish Minister of Mobility Lydia Peeters (Open VLD). According to Schoubs, in the majority of cases these are stops that disappear due to the straightening of bus lines between residential areas and stops where few passengers get on or off.
At the flex stops, passengers can order a call bus via the new Hoppin app, the De Lijn website or by telephone. This can be booked from 30 days to 30 minutes in advance. De Lijn then promises a half-hour window within which the passenger will be picked up at the stop by a call bus or taxi. The operation is completely outsourced to external partners.
The entire operation fits into De Lijn’s new management agreement. The transport company will not receive any extra money from the Flemish government for the reform.