Trams of the Buda network – Photo: wikipedia

Karacsony outlines Budapest tram network upgrades

Budapest's city council wants to make the city "more tram-friendly" and make trams more accessible to all residents, Gergely Karacsony, the city's mayor, told a press conference on Thursday.

The existing tram network will be expanded by restarting services on lines that were once shut down and building new ones, Karacsony said.

Accessibility will also be improved, he said, adding that Budapest residents rightfully expected trams to have air conditioning and low floors.

The mayor said Budapest’s tram upgrade strategy involved expanding the interconnected tram network, mainly on the Pest side of the city, making the stops wheelchair-accessible, operating low-floor vehicles and adding more lines and more new trams.

Adam Bodor, the mobility development director of Budapest transport centre BKK, said the city will purchase 51 new CAF trams and upgrade several lines to accommodate them.

Laszlo Horvath, BKK’s director of investment, said 40 percent of tram stops were currently wheelchair-accessible, and a significant number of stops along lines 2, 50 and 56 would be made wheel-chair accessible by the second half of 2026.

He said 30 percent of the 327 trams in use today are low-floor vehicles, though these types of trams transport almost 60 percent of passengers.

Horvath said the new CAF trams are scheduled to start arriving at the end of the year. Also, the city will announce a public procurement procedure for the purchase of around 110 new trams, which could start arriving in 2029, he said.

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