The Budapest Transport Centre is giving its communal citywide bike system MOL Bubi an upgrade. The changes will include a new mobile app, newer wheels and more flexibility between plans.

With this renewal, the city set itself the goal to get more and more users taking to the streets on two wheels. They hope to make MOL Bubi a truly indispensable part of the city’s public transportation network.

MOL Bubi was first introduced in 2014, promoting eco-friendly travel around the city. Since 2017, 157 docking locations have been set up across Budapest, and bikes can be rented from one station and returned to another anywhere in the city. Monthly subscriptions were dropped in March to a symbolic low of 100 forints/month in light of the coronavirus, to encourage residents to avoid public transport whenever possible. The number of registered users soared, now exceeding 100,000.

In agreement with city officials, BKK is now ready to take MOL Bubi to a new level. To achieve the long-term goal and cost-effectiveness, BKK and the city will put the operation of the public bicycle system on a new footing from 2021 onwards.

The first step is a comprehensive technological overhaul, which will take place in the coming months. A new app can be expected next year, and the bikes will be equipped with a smart padlock and new rubber tires. The service’s fee system will also be completely changed, and those who hold public-transport passes will be able to use the service with a special discount.