Hungarian public transport gets support
THE Hungarian government has approved three transport agreements with the city authorities in the capital, Budapest. They cover the conditions for construction of the second section of Line 4 of the Metro, as well as financing support for public transport. This latter arrangement also applies to the rest of Hungary.
The first section of Line 4 will run from Kelenfold to Keleti railway stations and the 3.2km second section, costing Forint 62.55 billion ($US 303 million) at 2002 prices, will run from Keleti to Bosnyak Square in the east. The project also includes major renovation work on surface streets and an underground car park at Kelenfold station.
The general financing agreements for public transport are a response to the fact that, generally, only one-third of costs are recovered from the farebox. The European Union, of which Hungary is now a member, requires governments to finance the difference as part of its policy for states to ensure that there exists an environmentally friendly alternative to individual transport.
A total of 131 Hungarian cities are affected by the new rules and Hungary will have European level financing for transport from next year.