The capital city of Hungary has been acknowledged by many in the past couple of years as one of the world’s most beautiful cities, but there are a few blemishes that make this general image at least a little nuanced. Like the human ticket-inspecting in the public transport system, which is smiled at by many world travellers, because electronic ticket inspection has been introduced in Paris, London and other popular destinations more than a decade ago.
Travel sites recommend the ticket inspectors of Budapest almost as if they were special curiosities, who sometimes stand at the entrance of metro stations in freezing cold weather and sleazy clothes. They are still the ones who inspect tickets and seasonal tickets in 2017. This method is quite uneconomic, functions with a lot of errors and it puts Budapest dwellers and tourists in funny or frustrating situations quite often. Due to the bad labour conditions and low salary, anyone can become a ticket inspector, which also means that many inspectors have low qualification or are of high age, so they don’t speak foreign languages. This results in interesting situations in a city full of tourists.
Even movies have been made about this. The situation is best depicted in Kontroll, a Hungarian movie that has been screened in several foreign countries so that the audience can get to know this “special atmosphere”.
Of course, the introduction of an electric control system has already been promised by the former mayor, currently accused of corruption, until 2010, followed by the current mayor István Tarlós, who also made promises concerning the topic. But there’s no sign of preparation works.
A news from last week unfortunately answers all questions: the Centre of Budapest Transport (BKK) has ordered a great amount of ticket-nippers. This means that the electronic control system won’t be developed in Budapest in the next decade, the world-famous ticket-inspectors keep their statuses, and BKK continues to lose millions of euros per year due to all the fare-dodgers.
All in all, Budapest is an amazing city with slight blemishes, and it seems like the introduction of electronic ticket inspection will be postponed, although the capital city suffers quite a lot of deficit due to the current, more evadable system. Until then, at least tourists can take photos with the famous or notorious ticket inspectors of the city.
Copy editor: bm
Source: Daily News Hungary