Water bus river commuter transport coming to Antwerp

Summary

Starting next year, commuters in Antwerp will have access to a water bus, which, among other routes, will link the left bank with the city centre

Three lines on the Scheldt

Commuters in Antwerp will soon be able to take a boat, known as the waterbus, to work, port alderman Marc Van Peel has announced. Starting in 2016, three lines will operate on the Scheldt river: one linking the left bank with the city centre; one linking the centre with the port area; and one bringing in people from outlying districts to areas in the south, such as Hemmiksem and Schelle.

The city is seeking co-operative agreements with potential partners, including Flemish public transport company De Lijn and national rail authority NMBS to allow waterbus passengers to link public transport services. The project will go ahead in the meantime regardless, Van Peel said.

The city will initially rent five or six boats, which can be used for commuter traffic as well as more recreational river trips. Van Peel said he had been inspired by the example of Rotterdam, which now operates a daily waterbus service from Dordrecht.

The project will cost an estimated €30 million. The money is part of a budget of €170 million set aside by the city for the completion of the Oosterweel road link to close the Antwerp ring road. As that project has been delayed, the funds can be used for other projects, including mobility. The remaining €140 million is being reserved for the time being for Oosterweel.

Photo: Lizzyyy89/Wikimedia

Traffic in Flanders

Thousands of commuters and foreigners pass through Brussels and Flanders each day, and the two regions have suffered from heavily congested traffic and long and frequent traffic jams for years – with no end seemingly in sight.
Record - According to the 2013 report from traffic information platform Inrix, Brussels and Antwerp have the most traffic congestion of any city in Europe and North America.
Calendar - October is the worst month of the year for traffic jams.
Causes - Year after year, heavy snowfall and railway strikes lead to monster traffic jams. Heavy congestion, infrastructure works and multi-lane accidents cause the more ordinary daily tailbacks.
1 285

largest area covered in traffic ever recorded in Belgium in kilometres

70

time Antwerp drivers spend in gridlock per year in hours

10 000

traffic diversions in Flanders per year