- Brussels Metro
Brussels Metro Info Locale Brussels-Capital Region Transit type Rapid transit Number of lines 7 Number of stations 68 Operation Began operation 1976 Operator(s) STIB/MIVB Technical
The Brussels Metro (French: Métro de Bruxelles, Dutch: Brusselse metro) is a rapid transit system serving a large part of the Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium. It consists of a network with four metro line services with some shared sections. The metro has 49.9 km of network and 59 stations. The premetro network in Brussels consists of two underground sections used by otherwise open-air Brussels tram lines and designed so as to be convertible to conventional metro lines. Underground stations in the premetro network use the same design as metro stations. Additionally, a few short underground tramway sections exist, which makes 51.9 km of metro and underground tram network and 69 metro and premetro stations as of 2008.
Most of the common section of the first two metro lines (between De Brouckère metro station and Schuman station) was inaugurated on December 17, 1969 as premetro (thus with tramways), and was converted in 1976 to the first two lines of the actual metro (which was then considered as one line with two branches) between De Brouckère and Tomberg and De Brouckère and Beaulieu. The Brussels metro is administered by STIB/MIVB (French: Société des Transports Intercommunaux de Bruxelles, Dutch: Maatschappij voor het Intercommunaal Vervoer te Brussel). In 2008 the Brussels metro has been used for a total of 135.5 million journeys. The Brussels metro is an important means of transportation in Brussels, which connects with 6 railway stations of the National Railway Company of Belgium, as well as with many Brussels tram and bus stops operated by STIB/MIVB and with Flemish De Lijn and Walloon TEC bus stops.
The STIB/MIVB was created in 1954. The first underground tramway (or premetro) line was built between 1965 and 1969; it ran from Schuman to De Brouckère. In 1970 a second line was opened, between Madou and Porte de Namur/Naamsepoort. An underground station at Diamant was opened in 1972 and the "outer ring" line was extended from Diamant to Boileau in 1975. Since then, this underground tramway section has not been developed further. It is currently used by tramway lines 23, 24 and 25. Rogier station was inaugurated in 1974.
It was only on September 20, 1976 that the first metro was brought into service. One branch went from De Brouckère to Beaulieu (in Auderghem), and the other one linked De Brouckère with Tomberg (in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert). The same year, the North-South Axis (premetro) was opened between the North Station and Lemonnier. In 1977 two new stations were built: Sainte-Catherine/Sint-Katelijne which replaced De Brouckère as the last stop in the municipality of Brussels, and Demey which replaced Beaulieu as the last stop of the southern branch.
The next step in the extension of the metro was the opening of three metro stations in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean (namely Beekkant, the new end of the metro line, Etangs Noirs/Zwarte Vijvers and Comte de Flandre/Graaf van Vlaanderen). In 1982, line 1 was split into two different lines: line 1A going from Bockstael (in Laeken, a former municipality now merged with Brussels) to Demey (Auderghem) and the line 1B going from Saint-Guidon/Sint-Guido (in Anderlecht) to Alma (at the Université catholique de Louvain campus in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert). Three years later, line 1A was extended to Heysel (near the site of the 1958 World Fair and the Heysel Stadium) at one end and to Herrmann-Debroux at the other end. That year was also the one which saw the opening of the station Veeweyde on line 1B, as well as that of Louise/Louiza on the premetro line dug under the small ring (from Louise/Louiza to Rogier).
This line was extended to Simonis the next year and was finally opened as an official metro line in 1988, known as line 2, then going from Simonis to the South Station. The stations of Kraainem/Crainhem and Stockel/Stokkel were also inaugurated in 1988 on the line 1B. At the other end of this line, Bizet station opened in 1992. It was then the turn of line 2 to reach Clemenceau in 1993. The premetro section known as the North-South Axis, sometimes referred to as line 3, was also extended to Albert that year with 5 new premetro stations (South Station, Porte de Hal/Hallepoort, Parvis de Saint-Gilles/Sint-Gillis Voorplein, Horta and Albert).
In 1998 a new station was opened at Roi Baudouin/King Boudewijn (Brussels, line 1A). Four new stations were inaugurated in 2003 on line 1B: La Roue/Het Rad, CERIA/COOVI, Eddy Merckx and Erasme/Erasmus. With the inauguration of the new Delacroix station in September 2006, line 2 was extended beyond Clemenceau. A further extension to Gare de l'Ouest/Weststation in April 2009 closed the loop of line 2 and led to a major restructuring of metro service.
Lines and stations
The metro system has 4 conventional metro lines. There are, as of 2008, 59 stations on the metro network (not including premetro). Most of those stations are underground though some of them on lines 5 and 6 are located at ground level. On 4 April 2009, the connection at Gare de l'Ouest/Weststation that enables line 2 to form a circular line was put into service. As a consequence, the metro network was significantly reorganised. The development plan for this change and related tram and bus network changes was approved by the Brussels Capital Region in July 2005.
As of April 4, 2009 the four lines are as follows:
- Line 1 runs from Gare de l'Ouest/Weststation to the west of Brussels to Stockel/Stokkel at the east end (this section was formerly part of line 1B);
- Line 2 is a loop starting and ending in Simonis via the eastern side of the small ring road (this is an extension of former line 2 from Delacroix north-bound to Simonis);
- Line 5 runs from Erasme/Erasmus to the south-west of Brussels to Herrmann-Debroux to the south-east (this combines parts of former lines 1A and 1B);
- Line 6 runs from Roi Baudouin/Koning Boudewijn to the north-west of Brussels to Simonis (including the loop of the newly extended line 2; this combines the former line 2, the new connection, and a branch of the former line 1A).
Line 3 and Line 4 are actually tram lines using the North-South Axis tunnel which crosses the city center from the Brussels-North railway station to the Brussels-South railway station and further to the Albert premetro station. Line 3 runs from the Churchill stop south of Brussels to the Esplanade stop at the north end of Brussels. Line 4 runs from the Brussels-North railway station north of Brussels to the Stalle car park at the south end.
Line 7 is the main line of the Brussels greater ring, replacing Tram 23 and Tram 24 as of march 14 2011. It services the Heysel/Heizel, runs under the Laeken Parc and then via the greater ring all the way to the terminus of Line 3 to terminate one stop later at Vanderkindere where it offers connections to tram lines 3, 4 and 92.
Line 1 (M) Line 2 (M) Line 3 (T)
- Gare de l'Ouest / Weststation
- Stockel / Stokkel
Line 4 (T) Line 5 (M) Line 6 (M)
- Gare du Nord / Noordstation
- Stalle car park
Line 7 (T)
- Heysel / Heizel
MoBIB is the STIB/MIVB smart card, introduced in 2007. It uses contactless technology based on the Calypso-system. It is comparable with the London Oyster card. All Metro stations, buses and trams are now fitted with MoBIB readers. At the moment it is possible to buy monthly passes, yearly passes, 1 and 10-trip tickets and daily as well as 3-day passes are available. Also, you cannot buy these on the internet except the yearly pass. In addition the GO vending machines accept only coins and local (Proton and Bancontact) debit cards which makes the use of the MoBIB card less convenient.
The STIB/MIVB has plans to make lines 1 and 5 fully automatic by 2016.  The government of Brussels has authorised the creation of a new metro line from the Brussels-North railway station toward Schaerbeek. The initial phase is scheduled for completion in 2018 and would terminate at Verbroeckoven. Construction should start in 2012. Further extension is planned toward Evere. In the long term it is hoped that it would link up with a southbound line to Uccle. 
In 2004, STIB/MIVB commissioned a planning document called STIB/MIVB 2020. One suggestion includes the construction of a new branch, or line from Merode to Troon station via Brussels-Luxembourg Station. This would help to relieve congestion on the central parts of Line 1/5. There may be a further metro line running south-west from Brussels-Luxembourg Station to serve Ixelles, Chaussee de Waterloo, and Vanderkindere. In this case, the Brussels-Luxembourg Station would become one of the major transfer points of the Brussels metro system. However, this plan is still theoretical. The plan also hopes to make the railway stations of the city more inter-connected, allowing for easier transfers from Brussels-South railway station, Schuman station, and Luxembourg. 
The Brussels Metro will be complemented by an RER network serving the broader metropolitan region to begin operations in 2017. 
- Transport in Brussels
- Brussels trams
- Brussels RER
- Brusseline (typeface)
- List of Brussels metro and premetro stations
- List of rapid transit systems
- ^ http://www.stib.be/irj/go/km/docs/STIB-MIVB/INTERNET/WEB_RESOURCES/RA2008/PDF/statistiques_fr.pdf
- ^ http://www.stib.be/1960-1969.html?l=fr
- ^ http://www.stib.be/1970-1979.html?l=fr
- ^ http://www.stib.be/figures.html?l=fr
- ^ "Stib: 629 millions € pour un métro automatique en 2016" (in french). RTL.be. 25-01-2011. http://www.rtlinfo.be/info/votre_region/bruxelles/770481/stib-629-millions-a-pour-un-metro-automatique-en-2016/. Retrieved 26-01-2011.
- ^ "Le métro à Schaerbeek avant 2018" (in french). La Capitale.be. 22-12-2010. http://www.lacapitale.be/regions/bruxelles/2010-12-22/le-metro-a-schaerbeek-avant-2018-833688.shtml. Retrieved 27-01-2011.
- ^ "STIB 2020 Plan: Étendre le réseau de manière à mieux couvrir la demande (pdf)" (in french). 2004. http://www.stib.be/irj/go/km/docs/STIB-MIVB/INTERNET/attachments/2020/STIB2020_10F.pdf.
- ^ (French)http://www.lalibre.be/actu/brabant/article/480429/le-rer-en-2017.html
Brussels Metro map
- STIB/MIVB official website
- New metro plan from 4 April 2009
- Brussels page on Urbanrail.net
- Photos: Métro de Bruxelles (French)
- Network map
- Proposed Network 2020 (Dutch) / (French)
Public transport in Belgium National Flanders WalloniaSociété Régionale Wallonne du Transport — TEC — Charleroi Metro BrusselsSTIB/MIVB (company) — Brussels Metro — Brussels trams — Brussels buses
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