Belgian railway launches 'flexible' subscription for part-time teleworkers
On Thursday, Belgian railway company NMBS/SNCB launched a newly created 'Flex Subscription' for employees who no longer need to commute to the office every day. The first available flexible subscription is valid for ten travel days per month, the company said in a press release.
NMBS/SNCB points out that working from home has become a firmly established system, especially since the coronavirus pandemic. "With these adapted products, NMBS wants to make the train even more attractive for the teleworker," the company states. "A majority of teleworkers travel to their workplace 2-3 days per week on average. The new subscription formula is therefore focused on that passenger segment."
The flexible subscriptions will be available only through the NMBS/SNCB app. In the first phase, individuals can buy a 'Flex 10' subscription, which allows them to commute between two pre-specified stations ten days every month. Each travel day, the subscription has to be 'activated'. This produces a QR code which the train attendant can scan.
The price of the subscription depends on the distance between both stations. For a 'Flex 10' subscription between Ghent-Sint-Pieters and Brussels-Midi, for example, passengers pay 141 euros (or 14.40 euros per travel day). A standard monthly subscription, in comparison, costs 199 euros but does allow unlimited travel on the chosen route. Travellers can compare prices with a simulator at https://simulator.belgiantrain.be/nl/flexabo.
From the end of April onwards, employers can also offer their staff flexible season tickets for a month (6 or 10 days) or a year (80 or 120 days). "Those who travel to the workplace a few days a week can now take advantage of a tailor-made subscription formula," says railway CEO Sophie Dutordoir. "Modern-day commuting habits are thus integrated into our product range."
© BELGA PHOTO LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ