MOL Bubi - Interview with the developer of a fantastic app

Did you have any prior development or coding experience?

I come from a business consulting background, I am a project manager, so I have no specific coding experience. However, I have led other app implementation projects and have been involved in major organisational restructurings and strategic implementations, so I do have experience in development.

What was the most challenging aspect of developing mobile app?

First and foremost, the fact that we had to work under high time pressure. The public bike-sharing service was shut down in November 2020, only to be relaunched in May 2021 with a complete overhaul. A significant challenge was that any delay would have slowed down the rebirth of the MOL Bubi system.

The interviewee, Mr Bence Csaba Nagy, is the Head of Digital Channels Development at BKK Centre for Budapest Transport, the mobility manager of the capital of Hungary, a public service company.

Name a few of your favorite apps and reason you love them.

My big favourite is Spotify because it has completely changed the way the music industry works and has had a significant impact on the way we listen to music. The app is fast, user-friendly, and also creates personalised playlists and recommends tracks.

To mention a lesser-known app, I also love Babymonitor because it’s clean-cut and easy to use. On the other hand, it answers real customer needs and replaces very expensive, often non-functional devices for 2-3 dollars a year.

How long have you been working on this app?

I joined Budapest's public transport organiser in February 2021, and the revamped MOL Bubi system and its associated app were launched on 20 May 2021. We have been developing the app ever since, we never consider it finished as it still has a lot of potential.

What need of the user did you have in mind when developing this app?

It was important for us to ensure that the new mobile app sheds all the bugs of the previous one and significantly improves the user experience. An important part of the renewal of the public-bike service was that the new app should make it possible to handle all MOL Bubi-related matters in a simple and convenient way in a matter of seconds, without the need for in-person administration. Part of the revitalisation was also to make the bikes more modern and easier to use, and to develop affordable pricing to support the vision of a sustainable and liveable Budapest.

In what way do you think your app is better than similar apps on the market? Please describe in detail what innovation you think you bring and what you are proud of in your app.

Our aim was to create a better, easier-to-use app than the previous one. You could say that we are our own competitors, as we are trying to improve the public bike-sharing service day by day to meet the needs of the people who use it in the capital city of Hungary. We have succeeded in this, with end-to-end digital management of all matters related to MOL Bubi, and both registration and daily use (rental, management of bikes) are extremely simple and customer-friendly.

What are your future plans and expected features of the coming new versions of this app?

First and foremost, the app should continue to be reliable, stable and well-functioning, helping people travelling in the capital to reach their destination. We plan to develop more travel features, such as the possibility of pre-booking, or to introduce various infotainment solutions, such as aggregating individual journeys, highlighting and sharing usage curiosities and records.

We are also working on introducing a feature to offer discounts to those who support logistics by travelling, for example by bringing their bikes from outer districts to an empty city centre collection point. The aim is to improve bike availability.

Assuming new users of your app are reading this page. What do you want to ask them to do (contact you about X, Share the app, etc.)?

I would ask them to feel free to use the public-bike app, to find out how efficient and easy the MOL Bubi system is to use, to spread the word and encourage more people to use it. Of course, we know that an app is never finished, so we are looking forward to their feedback. We also welcome constructive criticism so that we can improve the app in the light of it.

MOL Bubi

About App: MOL Bubi is an environmentally friendly, fast, and convenient mobility alternative in the city center. Opt for the greenest means of public transport and use MOL Bubi!

Download the app, find a MOL Bubi bike at one of the 158 stations and you are ready to ride within a few seconds.

All this in the blink of an eye: once you have registered, you can choose the fare that best suits you, and then you will be able to read the news, give feedback, redeem a coupon, or contact customer service directly.

Use the QR code scanner to pick up a bike or enter the 6-digit number seen on the rear of the bike or below the seat tube.

The smart lock in the back will open with a loud click, and after the beep, you can start cycling. In the app, you can track how long you have been riding.

When you are ready to finish cycling, just return the bike to any station and dock it into a free slot. Lock the bike by pressing down the lever on the smart lock until it clicks.

Categories: Maps & Navigation

Date: October 12, 2022

Developer: BKK - Budapesti Közlekedési Központ

About developer: The interviewee, Mr Bence Csaba Nagy, is the Head of Digital Channels Develo ... Read more



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