Budapest, June 29 (MTI) – The capital will use its own funds to buy replacement buses for the M3 metro line while it is being revamped, if the government does not give guarantees that it will cover the extra cost of contracting bus services instead of buying buses, Budapest Mayor István Tarlós said on Wednesday.

“The government has time until midnight on July 5 and if there is no decision made, then a smaller number of buses will be bought using our own funds, in line with the original plan”, Tarlós told commercial television broadcaster TV2. The Budapest transport company BKV will supplement the purchased stock with old buses, he said.

Around 150 articulated buses are needed to replace metro services.

Budapest is preparing to start to renovation of the M3 metro line. In June, the local council decided to contract bus services along the line for the time of the renovation as favoured by the government, rather than buying buses, but only if the government covers the cost exceeding that of acquiring the necessary buses.

The local council said early June it expects the government to issue the terms for their support in the official gazette Magyar Közlöny by July 5. The local council also decided at the time that it will buy Polish-made Solaris buses if the government fails to take a decision on the matter.

“Playtime is over, the revamp of the M3 metro line must start”, Tarlós said on Wednesday. This has been overdue for 15 years, he added. Tarlós expects the project to be finished by the end of 2019.

The revamp of the M3 line will cost about 140 billion forints and is scheduled to start in November.


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