STIB has planned heavy investment in Heysel, in connection with the NEO project: the extension of lines 3 and 7 and a new line 9, as well as the redevelopment of two terminuses. The project is a challenge on an exceptional scale and involves total interconnection of the STIB and De Lijn networks.
The work will greatly improve access to the site by public transport, enabling it to handle the huge increase in passengers that will be generated by activities and future developments on the Heysel plateau. It is estimated that the new Heysel development – including NEO with its shopping centre and leisure facilities, Brussels Expo and the Atomium – will attract at least 15 million visitors a year!
For STIB this project consists of creating a joint multimodal system with lines 3 and 7 by 2019. In a second phase, the extension will lead right up to Car Park C, reaching a total length of around 4 km. It will provide connections between the three lines (3, 7 and 9) while creating a real ring around the north of the city.
These new lines will be surrounded by new public spaces with the emphasis on soft mobility (pedestrians, cyclists and people with reduced mobility).
The project will be carried out in three phases and end with the construction of a new tram depot. To improve coordination and speed up the timetable, STIB will also be responsible for building the roads and walkways.
In addition to the Heysel and Esplanade terminuses, the work affects Avenue Empress Charlotte, Place de Belgique, Avenue de Miramar, Avenue de l’Esplanade and Chaussée Romaine. It started in April and will continue in sections for two years. Alternating traffic will be controlled by signals.