TURKEY tr-national

New ferries to ply Istanbul's Bosphorus Strait starting Jan 4

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 1/2/2011 12:00:00 AM |

Two new ferry routes will offer service starting Tuesday to Istanbul commuters traveling up and down the Bosphorus on the city's European and Anatolian sides.

Two new ferry routes will offer service starting Tuesday to Istanbul commuters traveling up and down the Bosphorus Strait on both the city’s European and Anatolian sides, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has announced.

The two new lines, one running between Sarıyer and Kabataş on the European side and the other between Beykoz and Üsküdar on the Anatolian side, are being launched in order to better utilize the city’s water-transport routes and relieve Istanbul’s overburdened coastal roads during rush hour.

“We will launch routes that will go in the north-south direction, paralleling the coast on both sides of the strait,” Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş told a group of journalists last week.

The new ferry routes are expected to help relieve the overburdened coastal roads.

The Sarıyer-İstinye-Beşiktaş-Kabataş line and the Beykoz-Kanlıca-Üsküdar line are scheduled to operate two daily round-trip services on weekdays and may be expanded if there is sufficient demand.

“I believe that people will prefer these two routes to avoid traffic jams on both sides of the strait and have a more comfortable trip,” Topbaş said, adding that the municipality will first use existing ports for the new routes. “We will work on new ports, if that is necessary.”

Frequent and much-used ferry services already run east-west across the Bosphorus, primarily from Üsküdar and Kadıköy to Eminönü, Karaköy, Kabataş and Beşiktaş, but the north-south route has been previously been limited to tourist cruises and a single daily one-way commuter service.

Passenger boats with the new service will depart at 9:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. from Kabataş and at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. from Sarıyer. On the Asian side of the city, boats will depart at 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. from Üsküdar and at 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. from Beykoz.

High-maneuverability boats will be used on the new routes while the one-way ticket price will be the same as for existing ferries, the municipality said.



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