- 3 Dec 2013 8:00 AM
Customers will be able to use over one thousand bicycles in the city in the framework of the MOL Bubi bike sharing scheme to be launched in April 2014 . Since 1994 a five-fold increase in cycling has taken place in Budapest.
By replacing a certain volume of car traffic with bikes, congestion will be reduced, while air quality improves, and at the same time regular daily physical exercise through cycling contributes to maintaining health – said Mayor István Tarlós.
The installation of the terminals will start in February 2014 with a GPS-based tracking system and security camera system to protect bicycles and docking stations; the system will be inaugurated in April 2014.
Until the go-live of the scheme, some traffic technology modifications have to carried out along with the re-planning of traffic junctions and the creation of more bike paths.
By supporting the Bubi project, MOL intends to make an impact on people’s awareness, to foster sustainability, and to create a new societal model based on positive thinking – emphasised Zsolt Hernádi. The MOL CEO added that 125 filling stations have been reconfigured in a bike-friendly way since 2011 and several service points have been established to facilitate cycling.
The system will be suitable for users to get automated access to Bubi-bikes in all seasons around the clock, without operators, and to return the bikes to any station. BKK has already finalised the locations of the 75 docking stations in 2012 by taking the input of the Hungarian Cyclists’ Club and of Budapest citizens into account. The axes of the docking station network will be between Margitsziget and Budafoki út as well as between Déli pályaudvar and Keleti pályaudvar railway stations with a 300-500-metre average distance between docking stations in the city centre. Please check the complete list of stations and the location map at www.bkk.hu/bubi.
The bicycles are manufactured in Hungary by the Csepel bicycle manufactory company. T-Systems Hungary carries out system integration, provides data communication and special software solutions while Nextbike GmbH, its German subcontractor delivers the main system elements.
The public bike-sharing scheme
The basic requirements of over 1,000 bicycles to be delivered in the first phase are as follows: puncture-proof tyres, a higher level of durability and carrying capacity with extra safety solutions, such as the completely closed brake-system and continuously working lights functional even after the bicycle stops. Besides the safety of cyclists, designers took also the safety of bikes into account: every bike produced by Csepel is equipped with an anti-theft GPS module for the easy monitoring of the locations of individual bikes.
As a result of joint development by consortium members, MOL Bubi features innovative solutions such as solar cell-operated docking stations and terminals with large-screen touchpads.
The transportation of bicycles between docking stations will be performed in an environment-friendly way mostly by special electric bikes which will also be used by mechanics to reach the locations to carry out on-the-spot repairs. Also, the special “stringbikes” with auxiliary electric propulsion developed by Csepel Zrt will be used to carry out operational tasks.
The option for a further 2,000 bikes and associated docking stations is contained in the tender as well as in the contract, so that in case the system is successful, the service can be expanded in the future. BKK’s experts are already examining the possibility of expanding the network.
Annual pass and mobile application
Regular users will be able to use MOL Bubi services in possession of an annual pass. Casual use is also possible by paying the fee by bank card at the terminals or on the dedicated website of the system. Users will also be able to get access to the system via a mobile application developed for Android and iOS platforms, which will provide information, among others, about the nearest Bubi docking station, the number of free docking stands and available bicycles and the user’s available balance for payment.
Users of the public bike-sharing system will become the customers of BKK, thus they will be able to register and access customer services in person at the Customer Service Points of the company.
The project “Implementation of the Budapest Public Bicycle-Sharing Scheme” is funded by the European Regional Development Fund in the framework of the New Széchenyi Plan. The net cost of system implementation is HUF 899,000,732, out of which 85% is funded by the EU while own contribution is provided by the Municipality of Budapest to BKK.