Security Cameras Green-Lighted For Budapest Public Transport

  • 18 Mar 2013 8:00 AM
Security Cameras Green-Lighted For Budapest Public Transport
With the changes made in Hungarian privacy laws in 2011, Budapest public transport can now fit out its vehicle fleet with much needed security cameras. Because of earlier legal restrictions, security cameras have not been a standard feature of Budapest public transport vehicles. But with legal changes made in late 2011, new vehicles can now be ordered with on-board security cameras and microphones.

The law was passed in time to order the new Alstom metro carriages for lines 1 and 4. Therefore, the new rolling stock in operation on the M1 Metro as well as those that will run on the soon-to-open M4 have been delivered with security cameras installed.

By the end of 2013, public transport operator BKV plans to retrofit the relatively new Siemens Combino Supra trams on lines 4 and 6 with security cameras. Each tram would be fitted with 14 to 16 cameras, providing complete interior surveillance of the 54-metre vehicles. BKV’s purpose is to quell pickpocketing and other problems.

It is seen as particularly urgent in the wake of a spate of vandalism in January in which the interiors of several vehicles were scratched and scrawled on with graffiti. Some had to be taken out of service for repairs and police forensics.

According to the Budapest Transport Centre (BKK), all new vehicles are being ordered with security cameras already installed. Current orders include 159 buses, 37 trams and 24 trolley buses.

Security cameras aren’t completely new to Budapest public transport. The city took part in a short-lived EU-supported project called European Bus System of the Future, ending in December 2011. For this initiative, the city ran an ultra-modern prototype bus on Line 86 featuring GPS tracking, advanced climate control and on-board security cameras. BKV was pleasantly surprised that the bus suffered no incidence of vandalism during the one-year trial.


Photo by Mark Milstein,

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