Fact Check: Miskolc Mayor Did NOT Say Public Transport 'Is Not My Job' - He Was Deferring To Experts


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Fact Check: Miskolc Mayor Did NOT Say Public Transport 'Is Not My Job' - He Was Deferring To Experts Edited Quote

Did Pál Veres, mayor of Hungary's fourth-largest city, Miskolc, say public transportation "is not my job?" No, that's not true: His quote was edited. Veres was admonishing members of the Miskolc City Council who have no experience in urban mobility matters to defer to experts' opinions on revamping the city's mass-transit network.

The claim appeared in a Hungarian-language video (archived here) on TikTok on October 2, 2023, on an account belonging to Miskolc City Councilor Gábor Bajusz. It shows Bajusz and other politicians ripping into Veres' public transport strategy at a meeting on September 28, 2023. After each round of criticism, the clip shows the mayor responding (All translations done by the Lead Stories team):

The organization of public transportation is not my job.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

TikTok screenshot

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Oct 4 06:58:20 2023 UTC)

A video of the full city council meeting shows that Veres made his remark after Bajusz delivered a broadside against his proposals. At the 1:10:43 mark, Bajusz tells the mayor:

In the plan, they said Miskolc's public transportation is traveler-friendly and that [the proposals] were drawn up with input from Miskolc residents. I'd like to give a concrete example that disproves this... The local people came to me, saying that the children were missing the number 6 bus. They couldn't get on because the buses that run on this line are not articulated [i.e., buses that bend in the center.] You know this very well. It doesn't matter who your supporters are. It's your responsibility.

Bajusz adds that articulated buses are now running on the line, and accuses Veres of making this improvement in order to boost his chances in the 2024 mayoral election. He concludes by saying:

Anyone who is incapable of organizing public transport in Miskolc is not competent to manage this city.

At the 1:12:26 mark, Veres responds:

One lucky thing for us, Mr. Councilor, that the organization of public transport is the job of neither my dear city councilors nor myself as mayor. For this, we have experts who understand it and have worked in the field for a long time, and I think it's our responsibility to entrust this professional work to them, and not use it for political provocations.

Veres' administration has been working to address Miskolc's mass transit troubles since taking office in 2019. In a post on Facebook on November 3, 2019, Veres announced he was replacing the city's public transportation authorities with a crisis manager. His current proposal aims to increase the frequency of buses and trams and redraw routes.


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