Hundreds of people scold the public transport of Budapest daily and argue about how badly organized it is. Yet anyone who has ever tried any means of the public transport of another European city could see that the Hungarian route network is competitive both in its extensive and coverage parts although the quality of these vehicles are not the best.
The portfolio.hu collected some opinions on public transport network of other European cities which have the same size and level of development as Budapest. Therefore we can compare the public transport service in Vienna, Prague and even in Warsaw.
Due to the analysis and statistics of portfolio.hu, Budapest has the highest density of public transport network – twice as much as in Vienna or in Prague. According to Real Estate Developer Forum, Budapest has more stations than the other cities have in the examined regions. Statistically speaking, in Hungary there are 9 stops per square metre, thus none of the citizens has to walk more than a few hundred meters to find a bus- or tram stop. Moreover, Budapest has the largest daytime and night bus as well as tramline network. Vienna has only 98 stops, Prague and Warsaw have 134 and 170 bus lines respectively, while Budapest can boast surprisingly with 219. Actually, Bratislava and Belgrade have only eight and ten tramlines while in Budapest there are 31 different tram lines.
As it was mentioned above, Budapest has lots of stations: the numbers of the four metro line stops in Budapest are approximately the same as in Bucharest or Prague. Budapest has 52 metro stops while there are 104 ones in Vienna, 57 in Prague, 21 in Warsaw and 51 in Bucharest. However, the area of a metro station in Budapest is nearly twice as big compared to that of Vienna or Bucharest.
Interestingly, the Budapest tram line network is the 7th most extensive one in the world with its 157 km’s length. In a worldwide comparison only Melbourne, St. Petersburg, Berlin, Moscow, Amsterdam and Vienna have larger tram line networks. On the other hand, the design of the Hungarian tram network is not so beneficial: in the cities like Vienna or Zagreb, the tram lines form a continuous and interconnecting network, thus the trams are easily avertable in different directions in case of malfunction. Therefore the trams could also be used as subway replacements in Warsaw and Prague as well.
The portfolio.hu website also checked the conditions of the vehicles: 7% of the trams in Budapest are air-conditioned and have a low-level floor for disabled people and only Bratislava and Bucharest have a lower ratio. However, the percentage of the modern trams is not good in Europe – even in Vienna only one-third of the vehicles is air-conditioned and has a low-level floor. As the figures suggest, the winner of the region is Zagreb where 66% of the vehicles are modern and have a low-level floor.
Furthermore, Budapest has the highest number of buses in the examined regions. While Bucharest has 1014 buses, Prague 1247 and Vienna only 469 – low-level floor – buses, Budapest has 1542 buses out of which 36% are air-conditioned. Although this is a huge figure, many citizens in Budapest criticize the buses because they are too old. Luckily, the modernization of Budapest Bus Network has been accelerated in the last few years. 95% of the buses in
Warsaw are low floor type buses and even in Zagreb 83% of the buses has low floor for disabled people – although Zagreb has fewer buses in total.
How much does a ticket costs?
Having examined the quality and the large variety of public transports in the Middle-East-European region, let’s see how much it is to use them.
According to the portfolio.hu website, except for Vienna, a single ticket costs near the same (300-400 Hungarian forints) in each city examined in the survey. Vienna offers the most expensive single tickets which cost HUF 640. As for the seasonal ticket rates, Vienna and Zagreb are more expensive than Budapest. The seasonal ticket costs more than HUF 14.000 in the former cities while it costs HUF 9.500 in Budapest. Interestingly, there is no student ticket in Vienna however, students can purchase a special seasonal ticket between their home and school for about 6.000 forints. Due to the prices, Bucharest is the cheapest but the city has different tickets and prices for the subways and for the surface transport. A seasonal ticket costs HUF 3450 and a single ticket is HUF 90 while to use the subway people should buy a single ticket for HUF140 or a seasonal ticket for HUF 4140. The reason for that is that the subway network is operated by a different company.
Last, but not least, the site also examined the average price level in each city to get a more realistic and detailed picture about the quality and prices of traffic services. If we compare the prices and the cities, Budapest is at the average price level while Vienna is the highest in prices, and seasonal ticket prices are also highly expensive here. The seasonal ticket is relatively expensive in Zagreb while the same seasonal tickets are really cheap in Prague.
The average price level of the public transport is relatively low both in Bucharest and Bratislava.
based on article of portfolio.hu
translated by Valentina Leanyfalvi
Photo: Daily News Hungary