Plastic Mobib chip cards can now be used on all major networks – STIB/MIVB, SNCB/NMBS, TEC, De Lijn as well as for car-and bike-sharing outfits Cambio and Villo.
Though the old magnetic strip tickets have been discontinued, occasional travellers can still buy a contactless paper ticket. This paper option is available for the one-journey ticket, the 24-hour ticket and airport line ticket only.
There are two types of chip card: Mobib or Mobib Basic. Mobib is for season passes, while the Mobib Basic card can be topped up with a limited number of journeys. To obtain your chip card, go to one of six Bootik outlets (Rogier, Porte de Namur, De Brouckere, Gare de l'Ouest, Gare du Midi, Roodebeek) and pay €5 and hand over two passport photographs. Cards can be topped up either at the Bootik sales outlets or one of the smaller kiosks, at one of the many vending machines, through selected retailers or through your MyBootik account online. For complete information on tariffs, see the website.
For all of the above options, don't forget to validate your ticket/card when you board the vehicle, which means swiping your plastic card against the red Mobib machine. To prevent fare-dodging, entrance and exit barriers are being erected at all underground stations, making it impossible to get in or out without a valid ticket.
Inspectors have also become more zealous; the STIB/MIVB website provides a list of the lines that will be checked each week, but surprise inspections (sometimes accompanied by police) are common. You can be fined between €107 (for a first offence) and up to €214 (subsequent infractions within 24 months) for not having a valid ticket. For failing to validate your Mobib card you can be fined anything from €10 to €107, and using someone elseís Mobib card can earn you a €408 fine.
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