New, unified signage based on traditions in Budapest transport
BKK’s logo is the central element and an inseparable part of a major system: the future unified signage of transport. During the design phase the following criteria were considered: it should be simple, easily recognisable, clearly associated with transport, distinctive, modular, providing a unified frame reflecting the conventional colours of the different transport modes. Last but not least it had to be a symbol of Budapest transport that is also traditional: thus the heritage semaphore-shaped bus stop sign was selected that had been a distinctive detail of Budapest streets for decades.
After the start of public transport in Budapest 19th century, initially stops were not indicated in any way. The predecessors of the signs were first used in 1910; they displayed timetables (in most cases only providing the first and last departures) and the names of the operators (BKVT, BVVV). BSzKRT, founded in 1923, applied the same method exchanging the names of the operators with its own.
From the end of the 20th century a new type, a simpler form of the semaphore-shaped sign appeared. From 1934 signs featured blue lettering. The sign with a blue circle signified regular stops, while those with a red circle designated security stops that vehicles had to serve at all times. The double stop sign indicated stops that could be served by two vehicles at the same time.
In the course of the modification of the Hungarian Highway Code carried out in 1976, the semaphore-shaped signs were replaced by new signs.
It is interesting to mention that regional bus companies from MÁVAUT to AKÖV to Volán used the same type of signs, but the their replacement was carried out at a much slower pace than in the case of BKV, thus some original semaphore-shaped signs were still to be found in some small hidden villages even after the turn of the 20th century. During the authentic restoration of the Millenium Underground (metro line M1) and Andrássy út in the middle of the 1990s bus stops located along the avenue were supplied with signs similar to the former semaphore-shaped signs, just like bus stops at the refurbished Fővám tér and Kálvin tér.