1 September 2021 – The three-month test period of the relaunched MOL Bubi system is now over; BKK and the system operator have gathered valuable experience while record-breaking numbers of customers were using the public bikes. BKK is taking further steps to meet increasing user demand. From 15 September 2021, users who do not return their bikes to a docking station will be charged a bike collection fee of 5,000 HUF, while pass holders will get the chance to use two bikes at the same time, both free of charge for the first 30 minutes of each ride.
The renewed MOL Bubi system was launched on 20 May 2021. The number of users registering in the system has been increasing ever since, while previous records going back several years were broken from day to day: a total of 684 thousand trips were taken by 31 August with daily rental numbers of 7-8,000. In other words, the public bike system had surpassed its most successful year up to that point (which was 2015 with 652 thousand trips during that year) in just 100 days.
In the first three months, BKK along with the system operator have continuously monitored user behaviour to find out which areas and stations need the most focus. Based on experience to date, BKK is introducing two significant changes on 15 September 2021.
From station to station
City dwellers have shown enormous interest in MOL Bubi resulting in bike usage rates far exceeding those from before relaunch. The most common feedback received by BKK is that there are not enough bikes at some stations and accordingly, BKK considers it to be a nice challenge as this situation clearly demonstrates the public bike system’s popularity. The mobility manager strives to meet increased demand by providing a sufficient amount of bikes at the individual stations. For this to happen though, bikes need to be dropped off at the official stations, since the bicycles that are left all over the place will fall out of circulation until returned to a station by the logistics team. This phenomenon poses a serious threat to system operation as well because individual bikes must be collected from several points in the city, while the improperly returned bikes may obstruct traffic and at the same time tarnish the image of the city.
Consequently, a bike collection fee of 5,000 HUF will be introduced on 15 September 2021, which will be charged to users who do not return their MOL Bubi bike to a designated station as per the rules. The goal of this fee is not to fine people, but to prevent irregular use. In the future, if the MOL Bubi IT system closes a rental and it was not finished at a bike station, the user will receive a push message and an email. The bike collection fee will be deducted from the user’s registered bankcard in the form of a Pay As You Go charge in the course of financial settlement to take place after midnight.
Free cycling with your friend
Until now, pass holders wishing to ride together with their friends have had the chance of picking up even four bikes at a time with a single registration, but only the bike which was returned first could be used free for the first 30 minutes, while all additional bikes were charged at the Pay As You Go rate. Recent experience has shown, however, that renting more than two bikes at a time was not typical, therefore BKK decided to tailor the service to customer needs.
Sharing a bike ride with your friend or family member is still possible, but the conditions are slightly changing: starting from Wednesday, 15 September 2021, up to two bikes can be picked up by a pass holder with a single registration, and both can be used for free for the first 30 minutes of each ride. Regardless of the above, BKK recommends that customers who like the service go ahead and register, then start using the system for a monthly fee of 500 Forints.