drapeauHUNGARY - Train + bike

Key figures : 
            carte Hongrie
 The Hungarian railway operator Magyar Allamvasutak (MÁV Zrt.) operates 7607 km of lines forming a star pattern around Budapest, a third of which are electrified, in a country of 10 million people and 93 000 km˛. The network and trains are being modernised. Only the regional trains  accept bikes (for a fee).

Bike travel is not yet very developed in Hungary, with a modal share of only 2 to 3% of local transportation (cities, short distances) in 2007. But the country has ambitions in this regard.

Train + bike, the main points :

A completely new national strategy, the « Cycling Hungary Programme », was announced on 29 August 2007 jointly by three ministers and cyclists’ associations / NGOs, with five chapters of measures to be taken: Safety and mobility, everyday cycling, cyclotourism, sports and leisure, background. The objectives of this action plan are as follows:

-    Reach a modal share of local transportation of 10% by 2013.
-    Divide the number of accidents involving cyclists by two (at present there are 200 deaths        and 3000 accidents yearly)
-    Increase the share of European cyclotourists in Hungary from less than 1 to 4%

The first concrete results of this action plan are significant:

-    Funding : A « road fund » of 250 million euros was set up for 2007-2013, in view of developing the national network of bike paths (2000 km). Tourism and mobility routes are distinguished in that plan (separate responsibilities).

-    Development: The integration of bicycle travel is compulsory in plans for the renovation and (re)construction of urban areas – including railroad stations --, roads and railroad lines.

-    At the departure and/or arrival station: This action plan is reflected, for instance, in the obligation of offering bike spaces, following a « standard book » / methodological guide produced by the government, which contains, in particular, indications concerning the surface areas allocated to the various services (shops, bike spaces, etc.).  P+R (Park + Ride) car parking facilities must also contain B+R (Bike + Ride) bike spaces.

-    On board the train: It is now compulsory for all cars to be equipped to carry bikes. This is done in step with renovations. 50 trains are already going to be renovated with bike facilities  

          -    Information and communication: Media campaigns are being launched. The most                 notable is the « Cycling to Work » campaign, which mustered 5500 participants. The principle          consists in coming to work by bike as much as possible (possibly in combination with public               transportation) in the companies participating.

In another register, the « Critical Mass Ride Budapest », an apolitical demonstration / event, draws more people every year; this year there were 80 000 cyclists. The link to the video (1 minute) is as follows:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Q_45HGoo2w&feature=related

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Contacts : Mr Ádám Bodor, bicycle commissioner of the Hungarian Ministry of Economy and Transport, , also one of the vice-presidents of the ECF. (In charge of the “Cycling Hungary Programme”), Bodor.adam@gkm.gov.hu. PFor train + bike, Szabo.kristof@gkm.gov.hu - Noémi Erdős, MÁV Start, erdosi.noemi@mav-start.hu - László Kormányos, MÁV Start, kormanyos.laszlo@mav-start.hu