The successful integration of STIB's activities in the urban environment includes management of the noise and vibrations generated by public transport.
STIB signed a cooperation agreement with Brussels Environment in 2004 for the management of noise and vibrations produced by trams and metros. The result has been the definition of noise and vibration standards for the sector, the development of a public transport noise registry, and increased cooperation for the joint handling of complaints.
An amendment to the agreement was added in 2008 for the prevention and abatement of noise created by buses. A study was carried out by Brussels Environment together with STIB, De Lijn and TEC within this framework to define a methodology to measure bus noise in the Brussels Region and to set acoustic power thresholds.
Managing noise and vibrations
STIB uses a range of techniques to minimise or eliminate the noise pollution inherent to tracks: anti-vibration rails, girder rails, grinding of wheels and rails, etc. A study is done prior to tram track renovation or extension work to evaluate the risk of nuisances to residents (proximity to the construction, type of ground, etc.) and to determine what special infrastructure needs to be installed.
When new rolling stock is ordered, its acoustic and vibration performance is included in the supplier selection criteria. Placing exhaust pipes on the roof, using the best motor insulation and disk brakes on latest generation buses have resulted in a reduction in vehicle sound volumes of one to two decibels. The suspension used provides better vibration management.
In future, STIB will further strengthen its requirements for noise and vibration impact, notably thanks to increased analysis of moving and stopped vehicle nuisances both with respect to residents and passengers.