Once again, VDL Bus Roeselare lands a prestigious order for fully electric buses for De Lijn. The West Flemish factory of the Dutch bus group VDL from Eindhoven, which specializes in pure electric buses, previously criticized the hesitant Flemish purchasing policy for e-buses, but despite the earlier criticism, the electric trambuses were ordered from supplier VDL, who was the best tenderer in the world. public tender has been launched. VDL will supply the trambuses from January 2024.
Minister Lydia Peeters is taking good care of Limburg and indicates that the electric buses will start driving in early 2024 are an important step towards better public transport and better mobility in Limburg. From January 2024, these buses must run between Hasselt, Genk and Maasmechelen. The high-quality public transport connection between Hasselt and Maasmechelen will also serve the campus in Diepenbeek and Genk station with a high frequency. The first trambuses are 18 meters long and are modern, comfortable and aimed at the traveler.
The Werkvennootschap, the organization of the Flemish Government that is also responsible for the North-South connection, is now busy preparing the infrastructure for the tram-bus connection. For example, the first works on Boudewijnlaan in Hasselt will start this spring.
According to Peeters, the crucial thing about a trambus is the free bed. That is why she has instructed De Werkvennootschap to work with “quick wins”, where they can quickly and efficiently realize the first parts of that free bus lane. They start with the Boudewijnlaan in Hasselt. The other segments on which interventions are planned in the short term are the N702 in Diepenbeek and the N75 in Genk. The final stop at Terhills in Maasmechelen is also being tackled at an accelerated pace.
The Spartacus Plan is a future plan for integrated and sustainable public transport in the province of Limburg. The Spartacus project in Limburg is an initiative aimed at strengthening the regional economy through the development of new technologies and innovations. The project focuses specifically on the healthcare, logistics and energy sectors, and aims to help companies in these sectors grow and innovate. The project is led by a consortium of companies, universities and governments, and uses a combination of R&D, innovation, training and networking.
Because Spartacus, as a Roman slave leader, stood up for a disadvantaged group and stood up for its rights, there is also a connection with the Limburgers who quickly established a disadvantaged rail network. The Spartacus plan is now intended to change this and is a plan drawn up by De Lijn and the NMBS to promote public transport in Belgian Limburg. At the start, it involved the reopening of old railways and the construction of new tram and express bus lines.