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City-dwellers take to bikes during metro renovation

During the ongoing renovation of Budapestʼs metro line M3, the number of people using the MOL BuBi bike-sharing scheme in affected areas has significantly risen, business daily Világgazdaság reported on Wednesday, citing the Center for Budapest Transport (BKK), which operates the scheme.

In the area affected by renovation works, the number of users of the service was up by 18.8% at 119,000 between November 2017 and April 2018, compared to the corresponding period 12 months earlier.

The BKK amassed HUF 62.4 million in revenues from the service last year, and HUF 10.3 mln so far this year up until April.

Earlier the BKK said the cost of operating the scheme, which carries the name of Hungarian oil and gas company MOL, which set it up in September 2014, comes to almost HUF 260 mln a year, of which MOL covers more than half.

Világgazdaság notes that users have covered more than 4.1 million kilometers on 2.3 mln trips on the bikes since the service was introduced. Many use the bikes for short trips in combination with public transport, as usage is free for 30 minutes.

The BKK sells some 5-6,000 BuBi passes and 24,000 individual tickets annually, although - unsurprisingly - the peak period for use of the bikes tends to last from spring to autumn. The report notes that due to the unusually cold March this year, users began using the scheme later than in preceding years.

The BuBi fleet currently numbers 1,526 bicycles, which can be rented from some 126 collection points across the city.