According to the latest data from the International Union of Public Transport (UITP), the Hungarian capital has the highest number of tram passengers in the world. Accordingly, we can rightly call Budapest the world leader in tram transport.
As Hungarian news portal Helló Magyar reports, Central Europe’s advanced tram network is the result of historical events. One of the reasons could be the lack of money during socialism. The standard of living was lower in this region. Only a small section of society could afford to buy a private car, so tram networks played a prominent role in public transport.
The opposite may have been experienced in Western Europe where several tram lines were dismantled in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The difference can best be seen by looking at Berlin’s tram network, where only East Berlin retained its network of trams, with only a few trams extending into the western part after the fall of the wall.
In Western Europe (mainly France) and America, the tram revival began in the second half of the 1980s. Currently, France has a well-developed tram network in nearly 30 French cities. In addition, the new developments represent a modern and attractive technical standard for passengers. Always,
these few lines cannot compete in passenger numbers with the performance of the Central European tram network.
Only Paris made it into the TOP3 of the list which ranked the cities with the busiest tram networks in the world.
The largest tram network in the world in terms of track length is in Melbourne. Additionally, Hong Kong has also retained a well-developed 19th and 20th century tram network built under British influence. Both cities are constantly developing their tram lines.
In contrast, the once huge networks of London, New York and Los Angeles have all but disappeared over time. A single tram was revived in suburban London in the late 20th century.
As for Eastern Europe, Moscow and St. Petersburg have the largest metro systems. The latter has the second longest network in the world, but the number of passengers did not even enter the top 10. This can be explained by technically neglected and unattractive networks, due to which there are fewer fewer passengers choosing this form of public transport.
The Hungarian capital has a well-developed tram network. Additionally, based on the most recent data from UITP (2018),
Budapest topped the ranking of the busiest tram networks in the world.
Even though the Rákóczi and Bajcsy-Zsilinszky road tram lines were completely abolished in the past, Budapest can be proud of its well-developed tram network.
Moreover, these lines could soon come back to life if the current plans of the government and Budapest are implemented.
As part of the development project, plans for the extension of the Buda tram have been finalized. It will stretch from Szent Gellért Square along the Danube bank, then past the Rákóczi Bridge, turning west to Budafoki Road. As part of the conversion the city park of Budapest into a car-free zone, a new bridge will connect the 13th and 14th districts of Budapest, where a tram line will be built, extending the Tram 3 ring and providing better connectivity. In addition, another tram line will pass over the new Danube Bridge which will connect the rapidly developing areas of South Buda, Csepel and South Pest. The surroundings of the Nyugati railway Station will also be renewed. Developers will have to submit proposals for the future Bajcsy-Zsilinszky road line via Nyugati Square, the demolition of the skybridge and the new tram line.