Brussels sightseeing goes zero-emission

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BELGIUM

Brussels operator STIB and RATP Dev have inaugurated the city’s first fully electric hop-on hop-off tourist bus service, operated by TootBus, RATP Dev’s sightseeing subsidiary.

After having been shut down for a year, the Brussels tourist buses have now resumed service, and RATP Dev and STIB used the occasion to inaugurate what it said is the world’s first fleet of fully electric tourist buses. STIB (Société des transports intercommunaux de Bruxelles) relaunched its tourist bus service on 26 November.

Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region commented: “The return of the tourist buses to the streets of Brussels underlines the region’s desire to once again welcome national and international tourists. This new offer, which is also environmentally friendly, completes a wide and diversified range of activities in Brussels and will allow visitors to discover the whole of our beautiful capital region through its various districts.” The people of Brussels are immensely proud to be the first city to welcome the fully electric version of the iconic hop-on, hop-off buses. It’s with great joy that everyone will now be able to visit and revisit our beautiful region in a cleaner and quieter bus,” explained the Minister of Mobility, Elke Van den Brandt.

“The challenge of this service resumption is twofold. On the one hand, to ensure the return of tourists to Brussels after the pandemic. On the other hand, we are making further progress in our commitment to the environment, as we are inaugurating the world’s first 100% electric fleet of sightseeing buses,” added Brieuc de Meeûs, CEO of STIB.

“We are pleased with the redeployment of a more sustainable bus system that focuses on the discovery of the different districts of Brussels. We have set ourselves the goal of getting tourists to discover the entire Brussels-Capital Region. TootBus is an excellent way of doing so.” said Patrick Bontinck, CEO of visit.brussels.

For the winter season, two electric buses will run on two routes to show visitors the city’s main sights. Eventually, six buses are expected to be in service for the 2022 summer season. “We like to think of ourselves as more than just a ‘carrier of passengers.’ We create unforgettable experiences for our guests. Our unique offer has been designed to provide an immersive and emotional approach to the city. ‘Let the city take you by surprise’ is the ambition that Coralie Triadou, Director of Tootbus Brussels, and her teams will strive to implement on a daily basis for visitors and residents of Brussels,” explained Arnaud Masson, Executive Director Sightseeing for RATP Dev.

The new buses have been accompanied by the introduction of new audio guides that include targeted content for children. Progressively expanded to six and 10 languages, the texts written and recorded by native speakers of each language are designed to provide a unique cultural perspective for each nationality.

Two electric double-deckers will help restart tourist services in the city. RATP DEV