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Budapest mayor sends PM proposal on BKV aid

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Budapest mayor Istvan Tarlos said in a radio interview on Monday that he sent a package of proposals on the capital’s troubled public transport company to Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Mr Tarlos told public radio mr1 the proposals include establishing a holding company for the Budapest Public Transport Company (BKV), state-owned railway company MAV and state-owned bus company Volan; changing regulations to make district councils share in the financing of the city’s public transport; introducing a transport tax; building the infrastructure necessary to introduce a congestion charge; building guarded park and ride car parks, eliminating BKV’s inefficient activities; and outsourcing bus service, at least in part.

BKV needs a long-term solution, but unless its financing is cleared up in the short term, it could go bust in one and a half months, he said.

In an interview at the weekend, Mr Orban said the government welcomed talks on programmes that contributed to the sustainable long-term operation of BKV. He added that the IMF is expected to bring the topic of public transport to talks with the government.

Mr Orban said the cabinet was on the side of citizens of the capital but added that it was unsustainable in the long term for BKV, which serves the country’s fastest-growing region, in economic terms, to take transport funding from poorer parts of the country.

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