Budapest’s mayor: Budapest not ready to set start date for metro revamp
Budapest, July 8 (MTI) – Budapest’s municipal council has yet to set a start date for upgrading the third metro line, Budapest Mayor István Tarlós said on Friday.
The planned duration of the project has not changed, Tarlós told a press conference, adding that delays may be avoidable.
Regarding the possibility that the upgrade may have to be financed from an increased European Investment Bank loan instead of EU funds, he said the capital should be allowed to spend the 137.5 billion forints (EUR 436.9m) originally allocated for the revamp on other development projects.
Concerning the replacement bus services that will be needed during the renovation, Tarlos said the capital had been consistent in its stance that the best way to serve national interests in this case is for the government to cover the extra cost of contracting bus services instead of buying buses.
The government initially said it wanted the municipality to buy Hungarian-made buses to cover the replacement route along the metro line as part of its recently finalised national bus industry strategy, which aims to boost bus production in Hungary to an annual 1,000-1,200 units in three years.
The government has since decided to cover the extra costs of leasing buses in a resolution published in the official gazette last week.
The mayor expressed hope that the capital could find a service that uses Hungarian-made buses.
On the topic of the government’s plan to take the terminal of Déli station underground, the mayor said it would be impossible to implement because the concomitant expansion of Kelenföld station in Buda, in the southwest, could not go ahead due to space restrictions.
He revealed that the Budapest city council is preparing a plan to revamp the Népliget Park in the outer 10th district and Obuda Island.