Finally, the lime-green “Bubi” bikes can be seen cruising around town. They’re still only being tested by 1,000 volunteers but it’s a start. After weeks of sitting unused due to technical problems, if everything works out well
the rental system will begin this month.
Budapest Transport Centre’s (BKK) call for volunteers to give the Bubis a thorough testing before officially launching the project was filled within an hour. The lucky 1,000 who were quick enough to register could pick up their brand-new MOL Bubi cards in one of the BKK offices.
The card allows the testers to rent a bike at any of the 76 stations throughout the city. Four Bubis can be rented with one card at the same time. All the Bubi testers that could complete at least 10 test rides for at least 10 minutes before this Friday won a prize: free Bubi use for six months, a saving of HUF 12,500.
The testers have reported some problems, such as back lights not working, bells not ringing after heavy rain and the sensitivity of the touchpads. These latter should inter-react with the MOL Bubi card but apparently sometimes it is necessary to try two or three touchpads before getting the blinking green light, starting the rental.
Internet portals such as blikk.hu and tozsdehirek.hu have claimed that the terminals do not have enough protection against theft of credit card details, an assertion that T-Systems Hungary, the company that developed the operating system, emphatically denies.
“The terminals comply with the international security standards for banks and credit card companies,” T-Systems Hungary said. “We do not have any information of frauds.”
Apart from the teething problems, the bike rental system looks like it will finally be ready. There a lot of pictures on social media platforms such as Facebook nowadays of boys and girls proudly test riding their Bubi bikes.