Grab and Go: Ride the new MOL Bubi bikes all around Budapest
Budapest is a relatively easy city to traverse with public transportation, and it’s now even easier with the newly inaugurated MOL Bubi shared-bike system of sturdy green cycles. These short-term rental bikes can be picked up at dozens of docking stations around the city with the proper ticket or pass, providing users with 30 minutes of free riding time to reach their inner-city destination before re-docking the bike. Here’s everything you need to know about this handy new transport system.
- 1052 Budapest, Belváros
There are 76 docking stations around Budapest, and 1,100 sturdy apple-green colored bikes in the system, available all year round and 24 hours a day. The entire system is operated under the auspices of Budapest’s BKK public-transportation company, and docking stations are located at no less than about 500 meters from each other. Docking stations are located at City Park, Margaret Island, Gozsdu Udvar, Andrássy Avenue, dotted along the Grand Boulevard, and at many other locations; check out http://molbubi.bkk.hu to view a complete map of station sites.
There are two options: one is to use either a 24-hour, 72-hour, or seven-day ticket, and the other option is a 180-day or 365-day pass. As an early promotional discount, the 365-day pass currently costs 12,000 forints instead of 18,900 forints (including 5,000 forints’ worth of useable time), while the 180-day pass is currently 8,000 forints instead of 12,500 forints (including 3,000 forints worth of useable time). There is also a special discounted MOL Bubi Start Pass that’s now available until December 31. It costs 3,000 forints, and of that 1,500 forints can be applied to use toward additional minutes. The 24-hour ticket costs 500 forints, the 72-hour ticket costs 1,000 forints, and the seven-day ticket costs 2,000 forints.
Additionally, a permanent 50% discount is offered to anyone who shows their one-year BKK transport pass when purchasing a MOL Bubi one-year pass. High-school and university students who can show an accepted student ID also receive a 20% discount on the 180-day pass. As an added bonus, these discounts apply to the already discounted starting prices as well.
After attaining a ticket or pass, you can use the bikes free for the first 30 minutes from taking a bike from a docking station, but after that time period there is a fee structure. Initial purchases of passes include “useable” amounts of money, but once that amount has been used you will be charged the additional fee on the bank card that is used to purchase the pass.
A 25,000-forint deposit is “locked” on your bankcard when you purchase a ticket; the ticket price plus any fees for additional minutes are taken from this deposit. For those who purchase a pass there is no deposit, but users who take a bike beyond the free 30 minutes and have run out of the alloted amount of useable money, they must top up the pass to continue using the system.
0 – 30 minutes: FREE
Up to 60 minutes: 500 HUF
Up to 90 minutes: 1000 HUF
Up to 120 minutes: 1,500 HUF
Up to 150 minutes: 2,000 HUF
Up to 180 minutes: 2,500 HUF
181 minutes to 5 hours and 59 minutes: every new 30-minute block incurs a fee of 1,000 HUF
6 hours to 8 hours and 59 minutes: every new 30-minute block incurs a fee of 1,500 HUF
Beyond 9 hours: every new 30-minute block incurs a fee of 2,000 HUF