The discount would be an alternative to the current discount card for large families, which will disappear in 2024, says Dimitri Temmerman, spokesman for the NMBS.
All families with three or more children can currently request a 50% discount on tickets from the NMBS or the Ligue de Families. According to the railway company, this discount card is “out of date”. “A single parent with one or two children who are in financial difficulties does not qualify for this discount, while a family with three children who are in a better financial situation can access it,” says Temmerman, who indicates that the current principle of reduction is obtained for life, even if the children have left the parental home for a longer period of time.
The railway company therefore wants to offer an alternative in 2024 whereby everyone between the ages of 12 and 25 can benefit from a discount. The measure should ensure that all young people are treated in the same way, “whether they grow up in a large family or a smaller one,” said the spokesperson.
Under the new scheme, parents could no longer automatically benefit from a discount. However, the increased reimbursement system will be maintained: people who are in financial difficulties will receive extra support, according to the NMBS spokesman. In addition, the current system will also be maintained in 2024, whereby all children up to the age of 12 travel for free by train.
The talks about the new regime are part of the new management contract with the government, “which should in principle be completed by the end of this year”.