The escalators are no longer working on the line of tram line 1 from 1 January 2016 as BKV (Centre for Budapest Transport) is unable to pay for the security guards. BKV’s financial problems can drastically reduce the number of metro security guards as well, reports index.hu.
BKV is having a financial crisis because the government refuses to provide the company the amount of money that would be necessary to cover its expenses. The escalators had to be shut down because the long-distance controlling system that the metro escalators will use in the future is not ready yet, but BKV can no longer pay for the security guards who were used instead.
Not only were the escalators shut down, but many metro security guards are going to be fired as well. Guards will no longer check the tickets of every passenger that uses the metro, and while this may be convenient for some, it can also increase the number of people who refuse to buy tickets.
The Parliament recently enacted an amendment which assured that Budapest will get more money from the districts’ industry taxes, which should cover the expenses of BKV. According to István Tarlós, mayor of Budapest, the city received 3 billion HUF, but at the same time, 6 billion HUF was taken away. With this step, the government killed the mass transportation of the agglomeration.
The mayor of Budapest has stressed many times that the city is not able to maintain the traffic of the agglomeration without the government’s help (which costs 18 billion HUF/year) and that it has to be taken over by the state.
In its answer BKV wrote that the escalators had to be shut down because the long-distance controlling system still not installed, and in order for the escalators to run either an active system is needed or it has to be constantly overseen by guards. The involved organizations are still negotiating about the matter, and until they reach a conclusion, the escalators have to be shut down for safety reasons.
Copy editor: bm