Coronavirus & mobility: how can you still get around if you really really (really!) have to?

Magali Reu

by Magali
March 20, 2020

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UPDATE 06/04/2020.The coronavirus has the entire world in its grip, and Belgium is no exception. Public life has been shut down almost completely, and the instructions are: just stay home! Only essential travel is allowed, although it’s not clear to everyone which means of transport are still available. Below we list all the adjustments our mobility partners have put in place. This article is updated daily!

Always on top of the latest changes 🕖

Moving around is strongly discouraged right now, but sometimes you don’t have a choice. It’s the perfect opportunity to make use of micro-mobility. You know, the means of transport where you don’t have to worry about someone coughing next to you. We’re talking shared bicycles, e-scooters and scooters. Or just grab your own bike! 

Whatever means of transport you end up choosing, we’re happy to help. What’s more, you can use the app to buy your tickets instantly (which is also coronavirus proof)! Did you know that our app also combines real-time data from all of our providers? That means you’ll always be informed of changes in the mobility offer! 🙏

Railway companies

NMBS/SNCB 🚃

Starting Monday March 16, a modified timetable of the NMBS/SNCB applies. Cuts have been made, especially in the peak-hour trains to and from Brussels. About 95 of them have already been scrapped. Also, ticket checks are now performed visually. That means conductors therefore won’t take your train ticket in their hands. Trains and stations are also being cleaned with special attention to items that travellers usually touch (door handles, garbage bins, vending machines, etc.).

Some stations are no longer operated: Buda, Callenelle, Maubray, Neufville, Ville-Pommeroeul, Harchies and Masnuy-Saint-Pierre.

> Get a detailed overview here: https://www.belgiantrain.be/en/news/coronavirus

Eurostar 🚄

Eurostar trains still run to different destinations, though this service has also been tweaked. The Brussels-London route will be continuously cancelled with a connection in the coming days. There are also cancellations on the Paris-London line. Passengers who have already booked tickets can rebook or request a refund in the form of a voucher. Note: this only concerns trips planned until April 7. 

> View the modified service schedule here:  www.eurostar.com/be-en/travel-info/service-information/coronavirus-and-eurostar-service

Thalys 🚅

The changes are more radical at Thalys. The offer has been reduced by about 20% until at least the end of April. Booked trips between March 10 and April 30, 2020 can be exchanged free of charge or even refunded.

> Stay up to date here: https://www.thalys.com/be/en/current-coronavirus-situation-exceptional-commercial-measures

 

Bus, tram and metro 

De Lijn 🚌

The new De Lijn timetable went into effect on Wednesday, March 18. The number of bus journeys plummeted by 14%, while the number of trams has been reduced by 10%. The next day the organisation went one step further, allowing barely a third of the normal maximum number of passengers. The dial-a-bus service has been completely cancelled, so these buses are currently not available. Since absences due to illness among Antwerp drivers are higher than average, the Antwerp tram schedule has been adjusted since Monday, March 23. Tramlines 11 and 12 are no longer running for the time being.

De Lijn also asks that all travellers board at the back of the vehicle. Finally, they also no longer accept cash in the buses, trams or Lijnwinkel stores. But you can still get tickets with your payment card, so also via the Skipr app! 📱

> View the modified service schedule here: https://www.delijn.be/nl/overdelijn/Corona/

TEC 🚍

TEC has limited its offer, leading to cancellations and delays. Several drivers have already called in sick.

> Keep an eye on the website: https://www.infotec.be

MIVB/STIB 🚎

MIVB/STIB also reduced its offer on March 18. Starting today, MIVB is adapting its offer to meet the greater travel needs during the week. The company continues to pay particular attention to the periods when most of the commuting takes place and to the lines serving hospitals and healthcare institutions. MIVB/STIB has again adjusted its weekend schedule. There will be more transportation offered on Saturdays again compared to the previous weekends.

You can no longer buy tickets on buses or trams, and cash payments are no longer possible at the kiosks. So buy your tickets on your smartphone via Skipr.

> Consult the modified MIVB/STIB schedule here: http://www.stib-mivb.be/index.htm?l=en

  

Shared mobility 

Shared bicycles 🚲

Most shared bikes remain available. With Blue-bike nothing has changed and in Brussels you still have Villo and Billy Bike. The latter is making their bikes available for everyone helping to keep the city running, from medical personnel to supermarket employees. Until April 5 they can get 500 free minutes to get around town by contacting team@billy.bike. Jump has temporarily stopped offering shared bikes, so you won’t be able to use their service at this time.

In Antwerp providers including Mobit & Velo are still operational, but Cloudbike has temporarily suspended its services.

All providers do express that they expect a certain sense of civic spirit from their users. Let’s keep it clean! ✌🏻

Scooters & cars 🏍

Poppy, Scooty and Cambio continue to make scooters and cars available to their users in Antwerp and Brussels. Poppy is offering free use of their vehicles to those working in the medical sector. All providers have temporarily introduced stricter hygiene measures. Better safe than sorry! 😷

Shared e-scooters 🛴

Ridesharing 🚘

Taxis and Ubers (only in Brussels) are still on the roads, although chances are you may have to wait longer than usual. On 31/3, Uber introduced a new initiative in Brussels: UberMedics. Healthcare workers now receive a 25% discount on rides ordered through Uber! How you can use this feature? By simply indicating it in the options when you order your ride!

They’re also taking increased hygiene measures.Only Heetch has completely paused its activities due to the coronavirus.

Other questions or comments? Contact us here!

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