The days of beefed-up, rough-looking ticket inspectors checking travellers at the entrances to Budapest’s subway stations may be numbered as the city plans to sign a EUR 54.2 million agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development soon to finance development of an e-ticket system.
The investment will cost a total EUR 67.7 million with the rest to be financed by Budapest, business daily Világgazdaság said on Tuesday. If the city council gives final approval, the project will begin with the procurement of gates and the development of the IT system, but the money will be enough to purchase some 10,000 ticket validating machines and card readers for inspectors who will randomly roam trams, buses and trolley buses once no longer needed at the gates of the subway and the suburban railway (HÉV).
As a part of the new system plastic cards would replace the current weekly, monthly and annual paper passes, and if everything goes to plan pupils will not have to carry another card because the new, chip-equipped student IDs will also be accepted by the machines.
Buying three tickets for a trip will also be a blast from the past: instead of validating separate stubs after every change, the system will allow travel within a given timeframe – most likely an hour – and it will be enough to begin the last part of the trip within the validity of the ticket.
The system will be developed to accept touch-less credit and debit cards from some time after 2015.