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Commuters will continue to benefit from cheap and user-friendly public transport as monthly passes covering Budapest and other parts of the country will be accepted on routes operated by Budapest transport companies, Gergely Karácsony, the mayor of Budapest, and János Lázár, the transport and construction minister, agreed on Monday. The dispute over the mechanism for how various authorities spread the costs to ensure that passengers’ passes are accepted in different zones has been resolved in principle, while the technical details are being worked out by the ministry, the municipality and transport companies so that the agreement enters into force on March 1, the mayor’s office said in a statement.
Instead of the central government subsidising the capital with a lump sum of 12 billion forints (EUR 31m) each year, a mechanism will ensure reimbursements of the costs of public transport in Budapest and its agglomeration that are not covered by revenue. Income from the Budapest, Pest County and nationwide passes and fare supplements will be divided “in proportion to performance”, it said. As part of the deal, the metropolitan council will also reimburse national rail company MÁV 5.57 billion forints to cover public transport agglomeration costs it accrued in 2022-2023.
Lázár hailed the deal as ensuring a “simpler, better and fairer” system than the previous one. While the Budapest pass will remain valid throughout the capital, BKK will also accept the Pest County pass and the national pass, he said on Facebook after the agreement was signed. He added that the agreement also served as a model for all rural settlements and paved the way for a “national tariff community”.