Cycling in Budapest is on the rise, Source: BKK

Record-breaking number of people cycle down the streets of Budapest

Record-breaking number of people cycle down the streets of Budapest

Since the start of the pandemic, cycling has been on the rise and this August saw a 15% increase in rides compared to August 2019

Last week, Budapest’s public transport company BKK reported that this August saw the largest number of cycling trips on the streets of the Hungarian capital since record-taking began in 2017. BKK also recorded a rise in the use of the city’s public bike-sharing service, MOL Bubi, a major tool offering Budapest’s citizens low-threshold access to cycling.

According to an official statement by the BKK, the upward trend for cycling has continued well into the summer months meaning more people rode bicycles more often. Their traffic counting equipment, located on Bem Square, recorded 144,632 bicycle crossings.

The figure is a 7% increase compared to last August and a 15% increase from August 2019, the year before the pandemic. Pre-pandemic comparisons, in this case, are extremely relevant, as many people opted to stay away from crowded public transport.

MOL Bubi – anyone can choose cycling at any time

Budapest’s MOL Bubi, a publicly owned bike-sharing company also registered a record number of trips. According to BKK, the service was used 358,000 times in August, just 8,000 times less than the all-time high registered in June.

This figure is in line with the general yearly and monthly transport data that the BKK publishes. Cycling is extremely weather-dependent and temperatures can be an indicator of the number of cyclists on the road.

According to the traffic report for 2021, all modes of cycling usually get more popular as summer starts and then that mobility mode peaks in mid-June.

Then, numbers slowly start to drop off, as temperatures get too high but have a second peak in mid-August. After August, people start cycling less; in December and January, there are fewer than 20,000 monthly trips. MOL Bubi, on the other hand, experience a peak in mid-September with the start of school.

Budapest’s mobility is hardly changing

The current BKK traffic report for 2021 showed that a very small number of people preferred to use bicycles as their prime mode of transport, only 2%. This is compared to the 47% using public transport, 35% private cars and 16% of pedestrians.

Importantly, these measurements were for 2021 and the Covid pandemic no doubt affected people’s preference for mobility, likely pushing more people to use private cars. At the same time, a press statement by the BKK also points out that they want to make sure that anyone can choose cycling as a mode of transport at any time.



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