Budapest desperately needs a new metro line to alleviate the terrible traffic conditions in the city. The thought of the new line has been in the minds of people since the ’90s. It would connect the northern and southern HÉV lines, although the plans are still in the making. If it ever comes to being, it will very likely run through Kálvin Square and Astoria. But when will it be ready?
In an interview with Telex.hu Dávid Vitézy, Secretary of State for Transport shared more details about the plans for the future metro line. A few years ago, it was speculated that possibly in a decade we could commute on the new line, but a lot has happened since then. Two years ago the licensing process was started and this year all the official licences will be received. This will include the tunnel building and also the modernisation of the existing HÉV lines.
Dávid Vitézy explained that with the plans in hand the only things necessary for the start were the European Union funds. If Hungary and the European Union can successfully agree on the terms, then the project will be started. If the funds are received, the outer sections of the HÉV lines will be renovated by a 2026 deadline. Most of the cars running the lines are fifty years old and the tracks are in horrible conditions.
However, the current crisis might stir up the plans a bit. It is questionable whether there will be enough money for the plans to come true in the near future. But still, the renovation of the HÉV lines is a high-priority project so they will not be cancelled. If everything goes right, the first sections of the M5 metro line projects will be completed before 2030.
Nevertheless, the underground connection between the northern and southern HÉV lines seems a bit more distant. The plans are necessary for the city’s development, but according to the secretary, they will not become reality for a long while. He reckons that the underground connection would not be made within the next 18 years. This is just a hypothetical number, of course. The line might be functional 30-40 years from now. The secretary added that there was still a good chance for the sections built on the surface and the more simple parts to be done in the near future.
At last, it seems like we will not be travelling from north to south underground anytime soon.