The Stib/MIVB network comprises the underground metro system (four lines), tram (19 lines) and bus services (54 lines).
If you want to make a connection beyond Brussels' borders, you can also hop on either De Lijn (the Flemish bus service), TEC (the Walloon bus service) or SNCB/NMBS (the national rail network), but be aware that you'll need a ticket that covers these regional services. Stib operates from 5.00 to midnight, and the Noctis bus service (11 lines) runs from midnight to 3.00, every 30 minutes from Brussels Central station. In Brussels, you can use the same ticket whether you're travelling by bus, tram or metro. Station names appear in both French and Dutch.
With a fleet of over 800 vehicles, some of which are currently being traded for eco-friendly electric versions, bus is the most visible mode of mass transport on Brussels' streets. Enter by the front (except on articulated buses where you can use any door) and exit by the middle or back doors, and don't forget to validate your ticket (even if you buy it from the driver.)
Stops are both above and below ground, and trams always have priority over other road users and pedestrians. Trams 3 and 4 provide a fast link through central Brussels from north to south, using mostly underground sections or tram lanes separated from the rest of the traffic.
With only four lines, the Brussels underground is small but reliable. Announcements are in French, Dutch and English, and stations are advertised above ground with a big white M on a blue background. While many stations have either escalators or lifts, some of the quieter stations only have stairs.
Planning your journey
While real-time displays are standard on metro and tram lines, more and more (but not all) bus and tram stops are fitted with screens that display the expected waiting time for your ride. Probably the best way to plan your journey, however, is to download the STIB app, which provides real-time information.
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