TTB has already welcomed De Lijn’s energy-saving initiatives and a decision to clamp down on fare-dodgers, designed to save the company €600,000 a year. In its latest suggestion, TTB calls for better traffic flow at crossroads, using light-influencing technology that ensures a green light for trams and buses. Such measures, said chairman Jan Vanseveren, could mean De Lijn running 60 fewer trams in Antwerp alone without affecting services.
Meanwhile, De Lijn recently announced plans to cut services in and around Turnhout, Antwerp province; a proposal to do away with night buses at weekends in Ghent; the loss of 991 buses running into the city centre of Antwerp; and the halving of bus lines in Mechelen from 16 to eight.
Fare increases are one of the likely consequences of the decision by the government to seek savings from De Lijn as part of its package of budget measures. According to Vanseveren, De Lijn’s fares are already among the lowest in Europe. “We’d rather see fares go up slightly than have buses and trams scrapped,” he said.