Bike-Sharing is already a big thing in other European cities and working perfectly fine. Now bike-sharing will come to Budapest and the bike stations are being built all over the city so that soon the bikes will come. But what is bike-sharing exactly? The concept is simple: You take a locked bike from a bike station, cycle wherever you need to go and lock the bike again on the nearest bike station. Obviously there are many advantages but also obstacles. I think that we can be very happy that Budapest has decided to make bike-sharing available for all of us.
Advantages of Bike-Sharing:
- No investment for a bike needed
- A good, quality bike always near you within the city
- Availability 24 hours a day
But there are a few disadvantages as well:
- No bike available at a specific station
- No place available at a station to put back the bike
But how do I take a locked bike? Does it cost something? How many stations and bikes are there available? A lot of questions that I try to answer below.
The city of Budapest and Hungarian oil and gas giant MOL in cooperation are responsible for building the bike-sharing scheme in Budapest and invested into over 1.000 bikes in the first phase, produced by Hungarian bike manufacturer Csepel, being locked on to currently 75 stations. The bike stations are roughly in the area between Margit Sziget (North) and Budafoki út (South) as well as Déli pályaudvar (West) and Keleti pályaudvar (East) so covering the entire inner city as well as some parts of Buda with an average distance between the stations of 300 – 500 meter. All bikes are equipped with GPS modules to prevent theft how that will work out we will see after a while.
The payment can happen in several ways. There is the possibility of an annual pass but also as a from time to time user you can pay right at the docking station with your bank card. There will also be an Android and iOS app available providing you with information about the nearest bike station including how many rfee docking places are available and how many bikes are currently locked. Also available is the available balance on your account so it seems that you can top up your account upfront and than use the balance for biking.
Fees for Bike-Sharing
There are 3 different plans for the Bike-Sharing in Budapest, one long term and 2 short term possibilities. I am missing something in between a bit such as 1 month or 6 months e.g. for exchange students in Budapest.
Annual: 18.900 HUF (~63€)
1 Day: 500 HUF (~1,66€)
7 Days: 2.000 HUF (~6,66€)
Images of the Bike-Sharing in Budapest
The public bike-sharing in Budapest will become part of the public transportation system BKK so you will be able to register and access customer services at all BKK service points.
A positive impact for all current bikers who are riding their bike on a daily basis anyways is that more bike roads have been build prior to the finalization of the bike-sharing concept.
Of course you can stay up to date on the MOL Bubi Facebook page (Hungarian only)