In response to János Lázár’s announcements in his video, Gergely Karácsony stated that the acceptance of county and country passes and the preservation of the Budapest pass are steps in a ‘positive direction.’ However, he added that the crucial aspect is the elucidation of the details. The Mayor emphasized, ‘For us, only an agreement that simultaneously provides additional resources for both the national government and the capital for better financing of public transportation can be acceptable.’
interpreting Lázár’s announcement as a significant step towards fulfilling their 2019 campaign programme in a joint effort.
This programme included the provision for those under 14 to use public transportation for free, as well as the establishment of a unified ticket and pass system for services within and outside the city of Budapest and its agglomeration.
Mayor Karácsony conveyed that, although the government did not embrace his proposal, he hopes that after the support from PM Orbán’s ‘own minister,’ this programme could indeed materialize. He also announced the municipal cabinet is prepared for extensive, professional, and constructive negotiations in the coming weeks to determine precisely how they can account for the jointly acquired pass revenues. Karácsony emphasized the necessity for shared revenue distribution alongside shared services.
He reiterated that the direction is good, and the likelihood of reaching an agreement depends on the details. The Mayor asserted two commitments: ensuring that the new system does not disadvantage Budapest residents, and preserving all transportation options provided by the Budapest pass. Furthermore, their goal is not only to benefit Budapest residents but everyone commuting to Budapest.
Mayor Karácsony also declared that if an agreement could be reached on the acceptance of passes and the distribution of costs and revenues, they could move towards establishing a unified agglomeration public transportation system—
effectively creating a regional BKK that serves not only Budapest but the entire central Hungarian region.
The Mayor went on to address the lack of negotiation proposals from the Ministry in recent months that aimed to maintain the current Budapest pass system. He highlighted that the proposals received were unfavourable for both Budapest residents and the Budapest municipality since they suggested the termination of the Budapest pass—a decision the Mayor of Budapest cannot endorse.