thea new Brussels tram line number 9 and a connection between the Simonis and Arbre Balloon stations in 15 minutes, via the hospital site of UZ Brussel, was inaugurated on Saturday afternoon, in the presence of King Philippe and Prime Minister of the Brussels government, Rudi Vervoort .
The king at the buttons
After arriving at the Simonis station at 15:00 the king drove the tram that cut the ribbon in Belgian colors.
The first rails were laid in September 2015. The entire project cost € 76 million, financed by the region and up to € 20 million by Beliris. Eventually the line will be extended to King Baudouin station to serve the Heysel plateau.
"Our tram network, which will soon be 150 years old, continues to expand and now has 18 tram lines", emphasized Brieuc de Meeûs, CEO of STIB.
"The tram has always had a strong identity link with Brussels, a new fast tram line that illustrates the development lever of public transport in the city".
A line with the most modern trams
The rails are equipped with a system to reduce vibration nuisance. The line will be served by the most modern trams of the Stib, equipped with a low floor and air conditioning. The tram 9 runs on its own terrain, on grass, during its entire journey of four kilometers or ten stops. While 181 trees had to be cut down during the works, 240 were planted on the entire track, which means a profit of 59 trees.
Every 6 minutes in rush hour
The tram runs every six minutes during rush hour, every 10 minutes during the day and every 15 minutes during evening hours and at weekends. The path of the adjacent bus lines (13, 14, 15, 53 and 84) is changed.
"This is the first time in a long time that a new tram line has been built in Brussels", pointed out the Brussels minister of Mobility, Pascal Smet. "This achievement is a good example for the future, it has improved public space, made a new fast connection with the metro and built a parking garage, all in 3 years.
The Avenue de l & # 39; Arbre Ballon and the Place du Miroir have been renovated.
The latter houses an underground car park of 199 places on three levels. Pedestrian and cycling areas have been enlarged and protected.
King Philippe went by tram to the inauguration of the reorganized Queen Astrid Square, where a popular festival with concerts, shows and ball will be in full swing until 23:00. He wanted to meet employees who worked on the site, but also residents and traders.