The Budapest Transit Center (BKK) has cancelled its five-year project to develop an e-ticket system and while deputy mayor Gábor Bagdy told news agency MTI that the Hungarian capital “has incurred no losses”, the price of the failure is as yet unknown.
Bagdy said the original development contract was signed and later coordinated by BKK, thus neither he nor mayor István Tarlós had any oversight on the project. BKK cancelled the project after the supplier failed to produce required bank guarantees, Bagdy said. Mayor Tarlós has also initiated the dismissal of BKK CEO Kálmán Dabóczi.
In 2013 Budapest took out an EUR 54.5 million (US$62.1 million) loan from the EBRD for the project and this February the Budapest assembly approved a HUF 1.5 billion (US$5.28 million) loan to BKK for testing the system. The hardware for the system was supplied by German company Scheidt&Bachmann, but BKK said they have no reference for the software part.
Budapest’s attempts at introducing an e-ticket system have been plagued with setbacks – the original introduction date was the end of this year, which was later pushed back to 2019 and this September the introduction deadline had been removed altogether. In a related development by T-Systems, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom – the developers of a mobile payment system – an ethical hacker proved that the system could be fooled into handing out free tickets. The hacker has been taken into custody and the project scrapped.