Portfolio.hu reports that Budapest mayor István Tarlós confirmed last week that Budapest is to get a congestion charge and it will be in the form of a single or double cordon with pricing of HUF400-500 (US$1.73-2.16).
The necessity is due to central government abolishing subsidies for the Budapest Transport Company (the municipal company responsible for the metro, tram and bus networks), and the condition attached to the loan for funding of the number 4 metro line.
The report indicated a number of dimensions of the proposed charge:
- Residents within the charging zones would be exempt;
- Operating hours are not determined, but it has not been ruled out as being applicable 24 hours a day; - Motorcycles and scooters might be exempt;
- The charge will not be a single access pass, but will charge according to the number of cordon crossings undertaken in a day.
Apparently the exact location of the charging cordon, as well as the range of exemptions and discounts (and products) are yet to be determined.
For a "summer 2013" introduction, it means Budapest has a lot to do to ensure a successful introduction. Very courageous (or foolhardy). Furthermore, if it turns out to be a 24/7 charge, there it wont be earning the "congestion charge" moniker, as it will clearly not be about congestion, but revenue.