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We have dug deep into a collection of old Budapest photos from the 19th and 20th centuries to see what has remained or disappeared.
MOL Bubi, launched in 2014, has opened up completely new dimensions in public transport here in Budapest. The system has now achieved its original goal: of contributing to the acceptance and promotion of cycling as a realistic urban transport alternative.
After six years of operation, the time has come for a
fundamental overhaul of the service, as user needs and habits have changed in
the meantime, as well as technological advances.
The 2,071 bicycles in the programme travelled a combined six million kilometres, and saved the capital from about a million kilograms of carbon dioxide. Each bike was typically used for eight minutes, for a total of three million rides. Of course, there were also problems: the bicycles were difficult to manoeuvre, the deposit was high (25,000 HUF) and the registration system was overly complicated.
The current operator contract expires on 29 November, after which the service will be suspended until spring. During the winter months, when bike use typically drops by 90%, the system will be transformed.
What will the new MOL Bubi look like?
Several upgrades and improvements can be expected. 1,200 brand new, lighter bicycles will be added to the fleet, with puncture-resistant, inflated tyres that will make driving easier and faster. The tariff system will also become more flexible, and those with a BKK pass can expect significant discounts. A new, user-friendly application is on its way as well, which allows you to rent a bike easily and quickly. New docking stations are also to be added to the existing number of 158.
The renewed MOL Bubi system is expected to start up next spring, but the announcement of the exact date is still some time away. Anyone who was unable to use their existing pass before the shutdown will be compensated by the company – once again, the details are still to come.