Gellért Hill funicular could open in 2024

The project, worth a total of HUF 1.5 billion, could generate HUF 1 billion in annual revenues.

The new cable car to Budapest’s Citadel will replace the numerous buses currently used to transport visitors to the top of Gellért Hill. During peak hours, hundreds of tourists visit the Citadel every hour, usually via tourist bus. 

The new cable car would start at the foot of Gellért Hill via a100-meter-long tunnel in the Tabán neighborhood. Some 900 people per hour could use this funicular, replacing the need for the tourist buses. 

Gellért Hill is both a public park and nature conservation area. Nearly 1,000 cubic feet of garbage has to be removed from the area each year, 60 percent of which is thrown on the eastern, rocky side of the mountain and can only be collected using mountaineering techniques. Removing graffiti painted on rocks on the slope alone costs USD 1 million a year. 

EU tenders supporting the rehabilitation of natural habitats can open up billions of subsidies, which can also be used on Gellért Hill. Sándor Bardóczi, chief architect, noted that in order to obtain and use EU funds, the local government and state bodies must cooperate, but there are currently no big disputes on this front.

Budapest’s mayor said the city is dedicated to the development of green areas and public parks and thus seeks to prepare strategic plans for the continuous and coordinated renewal of the city. The renovation of Gellért Hill Citadel is part of this strategy and expected to be adopted at the November General Assembly. 

Furthermore, the cable car is expected to operate at a profit, with the benefits used to fund conservation programs. Bardóczi said that the project will feature both public investment and public administration.

Construction is expected to start in approximately two years and will take another two years to complete, so the new Gellért Hill funicular could begin operating in 2024. 

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