Budapest, October 19 (MTI) – The public procurements committee (KDB) has annulled a tender invited by the Budapest Transport Centre (BKK) for replacement bus services to be used during the revamp of metro line 3 and fined BKK 40 million forints (EUR 130,000).
BKK in July launched a tender procedure for 150 articulated buses to replace the third metro line during the project to renovate it. It then launched the procedure to order the buses.
Before this, in June, the Budapest City Council said replacement bus services would be ordered if the government supported the plan and provided financing for the extra costs. The official gazette Magyar Közlöny published a decision on July 1 to provide the necessary funding.
The public procurement committee’s website noted on Wednesday that BKK broke the public procurement law and the tender is annulled, including all relevant documents and preliminary information released after June 15.
According to earlier plans, BKV intended to buy 110 Polish-made Solaris buses at costs of 9.7 billion forints and also use 40 existing buses currently in service on other lines.
The government has said it wants Hungarian-made buses to be used as replacements.
Budapest Mayor István Tarlós told MTI that he was “astonished” by the procurement committee’s decision. KDB’s reasoning for invalidating the tender — the failure to clarify that providing bus service includes bus drivers — is “unprecedented arrogance”, he added, stressing that the procurement was for bus service, not buses. He said none of the bidders had asked for clarification as to whether the bus service included drivers, arguing that it was evident that it did.
Tarlos said BKK was considering legal action over the tender’s annulment.
The mayor said BKK was now considering putting buses from its own fleet to use for replacement service, allowing renovation to start along at least a stretch of the metro line.
Tarlos said he will again turn to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán over the delays in the project, as the situation has become “intolerable”.