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Budapest's Chain Bridge, Source: Plamen Petrov

Budapest’s 2020 transport achievements

Budapest’s 2020 transport achievements

The Chain Bridge renovation tender, new CAF trams, the M3 metro line upgrade and a better MOL Bubi are among the developments

When saying goodbye to a departing year, it is time to draw the line and make the tally. This is exactly what BKK Centre for Budapest Transport has done, highlighting the municipal company’s most notable achievements in 2020.

Like most companies worldwide, BKK has found itself under an extraordinary burden due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, transport developments in the Hungarian capital are moving ahead.   

Chain Bridge renovation

Last summer, BKK launched the process of renovating the Chain Bridge, a key cultural heritage symbol, by ensuring “the widest possible competition and full transparency”. The public tender was announced in August, and the final bids were received before the Christmas holidays. The cheapest offer is slightly below HUF 27 billion (approx. EUR 74 million).

Budapest’s opposition Mayor and the Hungarian government have traded barbs, with Gergely Karácsony accusing the ruling Fidesz party of failure to deliver on its promise to allocate HUF 6 billion towards the renovation of the iconic bridge. Now, reconstruction works are scheduled to start in the spring of 2021. You can follow the project’s progress on a dedicated subpage of BKK’s refurbished website.

Rejuvenation of the tram fleet

Since mid-October 2020, Budapest residents and guests have been able to enjoy the comfort and speed of 14 brand new CAF trams. They are part of the 26-piece order made by BKK three years ago.

New bicycle lanes

At the end of March, taking advantage of reduced traffic due to the first wave of the pandemic, Budapest Municipality started building new bicycle lanes, following the example of other large cities. The cycle lanes on Bartók Béla, Villányi, Tétényi, Nagykörút, Baross and Üllői streets improve cycling safety, reduce public transport congestion and lower the risk of infection.

M3 metro line upgrade

In October, the renovated section of the M3 metro between Kőbánya-Kispest and Nagyvárad tér was opened to traffic. All stations, tunnels, track network, railway and safety equipment and the electronic network were renewed. Since then, renovation have also begun on the downtown section of the line.

MOL Bubi contract

Just before Christmas Eve, BKK signed a 5-year contract with Csepel Kerékpárgyártó és Forgalmazó Zrt. (Csepel Bicycle Manufacturing and Distribution Ltd.) for the renewal and operation of the MOL Bubi public bike sharing network. Next spring, a more up-to-date, efficient and sustainable MOL Bubi will become available to tourists and outdoor enthusiasts - with 1 200 brand new and lighter bicycles, 158 bike sharing stations, a more flexible tariff system, improved IT support  and a new, user-friendly mobile application.

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