Frequently Asked Questions

We have collected the most relevant transport related information in connection with the pandemic.

MANDATORY MASK-WEARING POLICY 

 

Why must I wear a mask while travelling?

During the pandemic, passengers can best protect themselves and each other from the risk of contagion by wearing a facemask, which has been mandatory in public transport since 27 April 2020. This type of responsible behaviour is required to protect ourselves and our fellow passengers from the risk of infection as the incubation period of the coronavirus can be as long as two weeks, even without symptoms, and we could easily infect others or get infected. The best protection is a face covering. Vehicles along with their shared-use surfaces, including stop-request buttons, handrails, seats, window openers, as well as air conditioners, metro stations, and ticket machines are disinfected and cleaned on a daily basis, and lines are launched with ample capacity and high frequency. Thanks to the above and the mandatory mask-wearing policy in place since 27 April 2020, public transport is still a safe travel option in the capital. 

 

I do not have a mask. Where can I get one? 

In the week before the introduction of the mandatory mask-wearing policy and in the first few days thereafter, BKK staff have distributed some 80,000 surgical masks free of charge. This initiative was joined by the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid. Masks can be obtained in Budapest at several places, such as pharmacies, drugstores, and shops as well as online.

 

Is mask wearing enforced? Will I be fined if I do not wear a mask? 

An increased number of BKK inspection staff and supervisors of the Municipal Public Space Directorate control passengers. Due to the growing numbers of cases, it is essential that all passengers keep the rules, therefore BKK introduced stricter control from September 2020 based on the decision of the Municipal Operative Board. According to BKK’s Travel Terms, it is prohibited to endanger other passengers’ health, thus passengers who dot wear a mask or do not wear it properly can be denied travel and they must pay a penalty fare. As per the penalty fare rules, the amount of the on-the-spot fine is 8,000 HUF, which can be paid within two days at BKK customer centres as well. If the fine is paid by cheque, the amount increases to 16,000 HUF. 

 

How to wear the mask correctly? 

As per the relevant legal regulations, the mask must cover both the mouth and nose.

  • Before putting on the mask, wash your hands with warm water and soap or use an alcohol-based disinfectant. The mask must be worn in a way to ensure that both the mouth and the nose are covered by it. If the mask has a metal strip, use the strip for fitting the mask to your nose tightly, so that it covers your face without leaving openings between your skin and the fabric.
  • Avoid touching the mask while wearing it, but if you do, wash or disinfect your hands afterwards. If the mask becomes wet, replace it as soon as possible.
  • Remove the mask starting from the back. First, lift the band from behind your ear or untie the strings. Avoid touching the front side of the mask as it could be contaminated.
  • Single-use masks should be used only once and then be disposed of in a closed container. If you are using a self-made or other type of cloth mask, place it in slightly chlorinated water (or use another type of disinfectant), soak it for 10 minutes, wash it at a high temperature (60-90 C˚), dry then iron it before renewed use.
  • After taking off the mask, wash your hands with warm water and soap or use an alcohol-based disinfectant again.

 

TRANSPORT SCHEDULE

 

Which schedule applies currently? I cannot find any information regarding this.

Since 1 September 2020, the school-term schedule has been in place. In addition, higher service frequencies are provided in the morning peak periods extended until 9:00 on the metro and tram networks, and on the bus lines running along the Rákóczi út transport axis as well as on other major bus routes. BKK experts constantly monitor the transport situation, and if needed and where possible, they will take measures to increase frequencies further. 

 

What about the night transport lines? 

Services operate according to the regular night-time timetables. 

 

HEALTHCARE WORKERS ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT

 

Do health professionals still get free access to public transport? 

The Hungarian Parliament cancelled the state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic on 18 June 2020. Health professionals were entitled to free travel only during the state of emergency, but the Municipality of Budapest and BKK extended the free travel period until 30 June 2020. From 1 July 2020, regular BKK fares apply to health professionals, as well. 

 

QUESTIONS RELATING TO TICKETS AND PASSES 

 

Where can I buy a ticket or pass now? 

You can find the sales points nearest to you online with the help of the map-based search interface at www.bkk.hu/pontkereso. If you have a smartphone, please consider using a mobile ticket as it is an especially safe solution during the pandemic. Please find all information and the link to download the app at www.bkk.hu/mobileticket

BKK customer service centres reopened at the end of May. The Central CSC under Rumbach Sebestyén u. 19-21. has the previous business hours, while all others operate according to uniform business hours from 7:00 to 19:00. Circa 370 ticket vending machines are available throughout the city. Additionally, single tickets including books of 10 are obtainable at 10 BKK ticket offices as well as from several hundred distributors, such as shops and newsagents.

 

What are the rules for entering BKK customer service centres?

Customers must wear a mask covering the face and nose when entering customer service centres. Only as many customers may be inside as many counters are open for business. Hand sanitisers are at the customers’ disposal. We recommend using a contactless bankcard for payment and visiting a customer service centre only in essential cases where your presence is needed.

 

I am registered job seeker. Until when can I use my official certificate for the previous month to get free public transport?

From 4 July 2020, the rules in place prior to the state of emergency apply to the monthly pass for job seekers.

 

My transport pass ID for parents with small children has expired. What do I need to do?

The IDs that expired during the state of emergency (11 March – 17 June 2020) can be used up until 15 December 2020. Please make sure the latest on that day that the validity of your pass ID gets extended or reissued at any ticket office of customer service centre.

 

My transport pass ID for pensioners has expired. What do I need to do?

The IDs that expired during the state of emergency (11 March – 17 June 2020) can be used up until 15 December 2020. Please make sure the latest on that day that the validity of your pass ID gets extended or reissued at any ticket office of customer service centre.

 

What about student IDs?

Students can verify their eligibility for the travel discount with a Hungarian student ID with a validation sticker for the 1st semester of the 2019/2020 school year up until 15 December 2020. Thereafter, that is from 16 December, even if the pass expires only later than that date, the student ID must have the appropriate validation. The same rule applies to the certificates issued in place of a student ID that the students received electronically from their schools, but needed to print them for use.

 

What is the safest way to buy my ticket or pass?

If you have a smartphone, please consider using a mobile ticket as it is an especially safe solution during the pandemic. Please find all information and the link to download the app at www.bkk.hu/mobileticket

 

Do you clean ticket vending machines more frequently as well?

We have instructed TVMs to be cleaned and disinfected more often. We also advise you wear gloves and pay with a contactless bankcard when using the machines and disinfect after use. These tips are also shown on TVM screens. If this is still not satisfactory to you, please consider using a mobile ticket.

 

I would love to buy tickets from a TVM, but it never works or if it does, it swallows my money or does not issue the ticket.

If you encounter a faulty TVM, do not get your change or your ticket is not issued, please use the “Customer service” function on the screen to get in touch with an agent who will tell you what to do.

 

MOL BUBI BIKE-SHARING AND CYCLING

 

Is it true that the MOL Bubi system will be suspended?

Yes, that is true. Due to the preparation works for the renewal of the public bike-sharing system, MOL Bubi will be temporarily suspended at the end of November 2020. Users can no longer buy a new pass, but they can use the system until midnight on 29 November 2020. BKK will provide compensation to all customers who have a valid pass but cannot fully make use of it because of system closure. BKK will offer a brand new bike-sharing service in 2021 to satisfy growing transport demand.

 

I have a pass that is valid longer than the system closure date of 29 November 2020. What happens in my case?

BKK offers fast and customer-friendly compensation to pass holders whose quarterly, semi-annual or annual pass expires later than the 29 November system closure date. Information about the mode of compensation will be provided later on.

 

Is it true that MOL Bubi is only 100 HUF? Are bikes cleaned more often, too?

The 100 HUF monthly pass and online registration to the system is a significant development. We are glad that this was introduced quickly and thus we could contribute to the promotion of active transport modes to those for whom MOL Bubi presents an alternative. Bikes and docking stations are disinfected more regularly than usual. Disinfect your hands before you ride a bike and afterwards as well. Even if the weather is fine, wear gloves if possible. Think about the next user and disinfect the bike’s handle after use.

 

Is cycling recommended during the pandemic?

Yes, it is highly recommended, if you can do it. By exercising, you can also reduce the risk of cardio-vascular diseases, strengthen your immune system and preserve your mental health.

 

Which public transport lines will take my bike on board?

Since 17 October 2020, all trams of the “Tatra” type, about one third of the fleet operating in the city, can take bikes on board. Currently, you can carry your bike on the following services: bus lines 65, 65A, 165 and 212; tram lines 1, 12, 14, 17, 28, 41, 56, 56A, 59, 59A, 59B, 60 and 61; trolleybus 77, suburban railway lines and public transport boats (the latter being out of service for now). As part of a new three-month pilot from September to encourage passengers to combine transport modes, bikes can be taken on board free of charge at weekends on all lines where this is possible, which means that cyclists require a ticket or pass only for themselves. Visit https://bkk.hu/en/transporting-bicycles-on-bkk-lines/ for details and rules.

 

Will there be new bike lanes to ensure safe cycling in the city?

The answer is yes. The Municipality of Budapest decided to open temporary bike lanes on key routes to support commuting and safe cycling, as bike use is on the increase during the coronavirus pandemic, and this is the ideal time for developing cycling conditions. New bike lanes have been installed at the following locations: Bartók Béla út, Tétényi út and Villányi út in Buda as well as along the Grand Boulevard and in Baross utca in Pest.

 

VEHICLES AND THEIR DRIVERS  

 

Drivers need protection too, yet they are in constant touch with the passengers while selling tickets on board.

We agree with the above and thus suspended on-board sales by drivers on 12 March 2020 for an indefinite period. While this measure is in place, tickets are still available from vending machines, ticket offices and customer service centres. We also recommend the public transport mobile ticket, which is currently not only the most convenient, but also the safest choice.

 

What would happen if the drivers contracted the virus as they are in close contact with the passengers? Would public transport in Budapest be suspended?

Protecting drivers is essential as bus and trolleybus drivers ensure that the majority of street-level transport can operate properly. The cordoning-off of the driver areas on board buses and trolleybuses was lifted on 15 June, but to protect drivers we still ask you not to sit near the driver’s cabin, if possible.

 

Couldn’t the doors be centrally opened on all vehicles at all stops?

Public transport vehicles are cleaned and disinfected as often as possible, which naturally includes stop-request buttons, hand-holds, seats and window openers. Buses, trams and trolleybuses will stop only when there are passengers wishing to board or exit, and in the case of vehicles where it is possible, all doors will be opened, however on some types of bus and trolleybus this is technically not possible as doors are opened by an automatic system when the stop-request button is pushed, or when a passenger wishing to board pushes the signal outside the specific door. On these vehicles, the driver merely approves door opening, but cannot interfere. If this is worrying to you, please carry a hand sanitiser with you and use it after pushing the signal button.

 

It is not true that the vehicles are cleaned, and disinfected, I’ve travelled on an extremely dirty vehicle today.

Public transport vehicles are cleaned and disinfected even more frequently than the current increased level. Despite this, it can happen that you come across a dirty or polluted vehicle because in daily passenger service cleaning cannot be done between two stops. The driver might not notice the need for cleaning as he or she concentrates on the road and your travel safety. If you notice that a vehicle needs intermediate cleaning, please notify your driver.

 

TRAVELLING DURING THE RISK OF PANDEMIC

 

Am I allowed to travel while being ill?

If you have a fever, a cold, or flu-like symptoms, please be considerate and do not use public transport. Pay special attention to your health and protect others. Thank you.

 

How to travel ethically during the pandemic?

The Mayor’s Office requests the following in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation: avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose; wash your hands frequently or use a hand sanitiser regularly; if you sneeze or cough, use a tissue or cover your mouth with your elbow; and do not use public transport if you are ill, have a fever, a cold, or flu-like symptoms! We additionally ask that you act as recommended by the WHO even while travelling: even though vehicles are constantly cleaned, always wash your hands after travelling; avoid touching the different surfaces (hand-holds, escalator’s parts, other passengers etc.) as little as possible while, of course, keeping your own travel safety in mind, and always appraise the situation if you should board a crowded vehicle or wait for the next one. While on board, open the windows if possible. During the pandemic, it is advisable to use a mobile ticket if the fare product you need is available in that form; and be more patient towards drivers, ticket inspectors and your fellow passengers.

 

Egyéb / Other information KK

BKK Customer Service Centres along with the Central Customer Service Centre closed on 19 March and reopened from 25 May 2020. The opening hours of the Central Customer Service Centre at 1075 Budapest, Rumbach Sebestyén utca 19–21., remain unchanged, while customer service centres are uniformly open from 7:00 to 19:00, considering the still perceivable, significant reduction of traffic levels. For more information, please consult this link.