Mechelen’s Free Shuttle Boosts City Center Visits and Local Business

Sarhan Basem
credit: vrt

Mechelen: (Brussels Morning) – The free shopping shuttle in Mechelen has expanded its hours and routes to encourage longer visits and boost the city’s evening economy. The trial has been successful with positive feedback from local businesses.

The free bus in Mechelen has been running for years taking shoppers from Nekkerhal parking to Grote Markt. It used to run only on Saturdays and shopping Sundays. But in February they started a trial to make things better for visitors and help local shops. As part of the test the buses now run later and more often on those days. This change is to help people stay longer in Mechelen after the usual shopping times. Mechelen wants to encourage longer visits by offering free and reliable rides making the city center more lively and easy to reach for locals and tourists.

How Mechelen’s Free Shuttle Service Boosts City Center Visits and Local Businesses?

The city officials said the test for the buses in Mechelen went well. Christian Michels who owns Cosma restaurant and oversees catering for the province is happy about it. He thinks it’s great for visitors and local restaurants. Michels thinks the longer bus service is a big plus for Mechelen. It makes it easier for visitors to stay longer in the city center which helps local restaurants and cafes. The buses make it simpler to get from parking to the Grote Markt encouraging longer visits and boosting the evening economy in Mechelen. They said that the trial was successful in making visitors happier and boosting business in Mechelen’s lively city center.

It has been said that the shopping shuttle service will keep running until the end of the year with longer hours. On Fridays and Saturdays, it will go until midnight and on Wednesdays it will run until 7 p.m. They’re also adding a new route to Mechelen-Zuid on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. These changes are to make it easier for shoppers especially during busy shopping times and when stores stay open later in the evening.

If you park at Keerdok you can take a boat ride to Vismarkt on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. It’s a nice trip through a beautiful part of Mechelen says Greet Geypen who looks after the economy. The project will run until the end of this year and Geypen hopes it continues next year,but that depends on the new city council.

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Sarhan Basem is Brussels Morning's Senior Correspondent to the European Parliament. With a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, Sarhan brings a unique blend of linguistic finesse and analytical prowess to his reporting. Specializing in foreign affairs, human rights, civil liberties, and security issues, he delves deep into the intricacies of global politics to provide insightful commentary and in-depth coverage. Beyond the world of journalism, Sarhan is an avid traveler, exploring new cultures and cuisines, and enjoys unwinding with a good book or indulging in outdoor adventures whenever possible.