Barely a year ago, we reported that the introduction of the electronic ticketing system in Budapest is much needed and is expected to be delayed. A couple of days ago, it was revealed that instead of the planned twelve years, the project would be finished in thirteen. Index conducted a short investigation into the matter, contacting BKK.
The first deadline for the electronic ticketing project was set to be 2006, the latest 2018, however, we cannot expect the launch earlier than 2019. Let us take a look at the numbers:
- Hundreds of gates were planned to be installed by now, but only a dozen of them were, and none of them function properly.
- Eleven thousand validating devices were set to be installed, but only three buses are equipped with some at the moment.
- So far, zero electronic tickets were issued, not even for testing.
- By the end of 2017, 840 vehicles should have been equipped with the validating device, but only three buses were (the situation has not changed since)
- Again, by the end of 2017, gates were supposed to be installed at 21 metro stations, but only one was (the situation has improved since)
- Already 5.3 billion forints (16.5 million euros) were spent, with the total budget being HUF 17 billion (EUR 53 million).
Upon requiring information from the Centre for Budapest Transport, Index found out that the gates and validating devices are being installed gradually on the vehicles and at stops.
However, it seems that the testing of the already installed equipment went well, as the devices excelled at the GPS and communication testing, performed well under different physical, road and weather conditions. The devices worked well in the past five months, though the gates at Deák square were in need of a bit of touch up.
There is but one problem: the electronic ticketing system is not even turned on, as there are no e-tickets in use yet, even though the system should have been opened 12 years ago.
BKK’s plea is that the law has changed in several aspects regarding public transportation, which has seriously affected the issuing of e-tickets and other registration processes.
Behind the name ‘RIGO’
The name is supposed to represent the benefits of the e-ticketing system, and is an abbreviation, standing for Rugalmas (flexible), Integrált (integrated), Gazdaságos (economic), Okos (smart). In addition, RIGO is very much like the Hungarian word for thrush, which is ‘rigó’. Thrushes are symbolical Hungarian birds, often appearing in folk songs and poems.
Foreigners might take a liking to RIGO as well, as the prefix ‘ri’ resembles the English prefix ‘re’, which might evoke a systematic repetition in the hearer, while ‘go’ refers to dynamic progress, advancement.
Where did the money go?
BKK revealed to Index that in phase 0 of the project they had spent 1.9 million euros on the preparation of the system plans.
In phase 1 BKK spent 8.9 million euros on safety modules, on the installation of the server centre, of the testing system, and of other software and systems.
In phase 2 2.55 million euros were spent on the further installation of the registration and vent machines, and on additional software upgrades.
In phase 3 (on-going now) even further software upgrades are taking place along with memory extensions. 1.88 million euros are planned to be spent by the time this phase is finished.
featured image: https://rigo.bkk.hu/