Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Our DeLijn 3-month Passes

De Lijn is the company that runs trams and buses that serve the entire Flanders region. We've started to learn which trams and buses take us where we need to go. If it's bad weather, instead of taking The Stroller, we can walk down to the end of our street, catch the 7, transfer at a number of points to the 8, and get off at the end of the street our daughters' school is on. Timing can be tricky. Depending upon how long it takes to get that first tram, and how far behind the 7 the next 8 is, it's taken us fifteen minutes to get the girls to school, and it's also taken an hour (twice as long as walking) because of traffic. Since the trams run on the regular streets without their own lane much of the time, they are affected by traffic lights and rush hour just as the cars and buses are. Still, it's a fun way to see the city and a pretty effortless way to get around.

What we decided to do, with part of our transportation allotment from the university, is buy a 3-month pass on De Lijn. It will expire the day before we leave Antwerp--perfect! It costs 75 euro for the pass, but once you have it, you can take any bus or tram in the region at any time.

To buy a pass for DeLijn, bring your money and your passport to the DeLijn office on Franklin Roosevelt Plaats (it's in one of the low buildings in the midst of all the buses at that depot area). You should also be prepared to write down your local address, which goes on your pass. The pass itself is just a slip of paper in a plastic holder. We keep them in our passport holders, since if we are ever checked for our passes, we'd need to show our passport at that time as well.

It's kind of weird getting on all these buses and trams and never showing anyone a ticket, but we've been told that sooner or later a conductor will spot check us, so we'll make sure always to have it with us.

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