The project is a feasibility study, co-funded with EUR 7,500 from the European Commission's CIVITAS Initiative. It will take six months, including a community meeting to gauge local interest, and conclude with a report containing recommendations and a business plan.
The kick-off meeting took place at Szentendre City Hall and involved 10 people: four staff from Szentendre City Hall, the technical manager of the Bubi bike share system in Budapest, a student from the Óbuda University who's both learning from and assisting us, and four staff (me included) from the Regional Environmental Center, based in Szentendre.
Szentendre, 20 km north of downtown Budapest, is a bedroom community. More than half the town's working population of about 10,000 people, commute every morning to Budapest. A line of the suburban rail system, the HEV, offers a non-car option for Budapest-bound commuters, but on the Szentendre end, there's no public transport option for the "last mile" from end station to home.
A bike-share system could be an effective, and relatively inexpensive, way to solve this. And if the system was cleverly integrated with the HEV and Bubi (the Budapest bike-share system launched last summer), you could have an environment-friendly, healthy transport option door to door.
A full report is here.
|I gave an introduction to the project, in English. My colleague Gabor Heves interpreted in Hungarian, and seemed to improve on the substance of the talk while he was at it. Thank you, Gabor!|
|Bubi's Péter Dalos (right) and Tamás Kollár (not pictured) went to the trouble of bringing two Bubi bikes up from Budapest. Both Mónika Horváth (left) János Virágh (center) took them on test rides after our meeting.|