GP: MOL Bubi public bike-sharing scheme, Budapest (Hungary) PDF Print E-mail

MOL Bubi public bike-sharing scheme, Budapest (Hungary)

Timescales: 2013-2014

In September 2014, Budapest’s MOL Bubi bike-sharing scheme went live. The scheme took six years to plan and implement after the Municipality of Budapest took the decision to implement a bike-sharing scheme in the city in 2008. The scheme now provides a new mode of transport for the Hungarian capital.

The MOL Bubi scheme began with 1,100 bikes available at 76 central locations, although there are plans to extend the scheme to other parts of the city. Users can buy annual or half-yearly passes or use a bankcard at a terminal to pay for a daily or three-day ticket. As with other bike sharing schemes, users can use the bikes between docking stations rather than having to return the bicycles to where they hired them from. There is also a 24 hour call centre, while real-time information about the number of bikes available at the docking stations is available online. The name of the scheme was chosen by the public in an internet poll, which was based on a short-list of potential options.

Even though the decision to implement a bike sharing scheme was taken in 2008, the relevant decree was only adopted by the General Assembly of Budapest in 2011. The project was supported by EU funds, while negotiations were held with local government districts and other stakeholders in order to agree on a set of parallel measures to be implemented to make the city’s roads friendlier to bicycle users. This included bicycle lanes where possible, and measures to make the joint use of road-space with other users more comfortable and safe. The scheme’s launch was preceded by a test phase in which 2,000 members of the public tested the bicycles and the scheme, more generally.

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