In a typical process of investing in the AFC system, an investor wants the most advanced technologies and systems but fails to finance it.
At the end of 2018, the Budapest public traffic system (the BKV) still hasn’t introduced an automated fare collection system. However, over the last two decades, according to the press, the city has spent nearly 3 million EUR on planning and feasibility studies. The new system is still years away from being launched.
The Hungarian capital still uses a human workforce to control fare evasion. Indeed, it is a unique solution considering the many technological advances available today.
Fare gates are not considered advanced technology; most developed countries became familiar with them in the late sixties and seventies. The project was originally expected to cost 5 million EUR, but that total has continued to steadily increase.
In 2013, BKV unveiled a collection system that would cost 10 million EUR to set up and maintain for a five-year period. This would be the second most expensive ticket collection system in the world behind London.
However, the new ticketing system conceived by the BKK, an ID-based system (ABT), is based on the identity of the passenger. The plan was already ambitious, but the technology simply made the project too expensive to finance. Aside from London, only Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong use such an advanced system.
In 2017, the European Union began investing in a transportation system called HAKIR, putting forth 17,8 billion forints. The promises are similar in that passengers can buy tickets for any kind of public transportation. Many have argued that Budapest doesn’t need such an advanced system, especially when a return on investment isn’t guaranteed.
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