Monday, July 16, 2012

The BKV (Budapest public transport)

The city-owned BKV runs an extensive network of surface mass transportation, with a heavy emphasis on bus service. The uniformly dark blue coloured bus fleet includes 1200 diesel vehicles on 200 routes and 15 electric trolley bus lines. Budapest-Bratislava Night service is exclusively provided by buses. The articulated bus is a hallmark of Budapest, diesel and ETB bendy vehicles have been running since the late 1950s and still form the majority of BKV's fleet. BKV buses are ubiqitous, one or more are almost always in sight anywhere in the city and a large part of the population entirely depends on them for mobility.

The passangers stats are: Approximately 55% of traffic in Budapest, a city with 1.7 million inhabitants, is still carried by BKV vehicles, with 45% remaining for private cars. During 2003 all-together 1.4 billion people travelled with BKV. During the socialist era, Budapest had 2 million residents and the public vs. private travel proportion was 80% / 20% in favor of mass Budapest-Vienna transfer.

BKV sells paper-based single tickets and passes; a 25 euro pass allows an adult to travel on any BKV vehicle for one month. Budapest-Prague transfers. There are plans to introduce smartcard based passes and tickets in a few years in an attempt to reduce unpaid travel (which is currently approximately 10 percent of all passenger kilometers).

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