The public transport in Brussels is operated by STIB , De Lijn (buses and trams in Flanders), TEC (buses in the Wallonia region) and SNCB (the national railway operator), who provide public transport to the 19 communes of Belgium, as well as all the others outside Brussels, to a population of around 1.5 million people. The STIB network consists of 4 underground lines, 20 tram lines, 50 bus lines and 17 night bus lines. The system features many new buses, trams and trains designed to enhance the ride experience, and in the last 12 years has seen a 70% increase in people using it. Though the metro is not comprehensive, it has a brilliant network of buses, trams and trains that support it making it conveniently possible to be completely reliant on public transport within the city. It should be added, though, that most service ends around midnight, except on New Year´s Eve, when it runs all night and is FREE!!!
The system is generally very clean and safe, though in the later hours of the night it becomes less so, and in particular ladies and children should probably avoid the trains as they can be a little intimidating at times. Taking into account all the services available as options, the chances are good that for most times of the day, regardless of where you are going in and around Brussels you will have the option to take public transport. The different operators have websites that can help you build or plan your trips and for an expat still exploring the city, this is a valuable tool as the sites also feature maps of the stations and stops. Tickets can be bought in stations, from the drivers, some supermarkets and some newsagents.
- STIB – http://www.mivb.be/index.htm?l=en
- De Lijn – http://www.delijn.be/
- TEC – http://www.infotec.be/index.aspx?PageId=633023143392127686&Language=english
- SNCB – http://www.b-rail.be/main/index.html
A useful website for information on tickets and timetables for public transport can also be found at http://www.trabel.com/belgium-practicalinformation.htm