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Kadıköy-Kartal metro line to be opened in Istanbul in late 2011

ISTANBUL - Daily News with Vatan | 7/16/2010 12:00:00 AM |

Test drives on an Istanbul metro line from the city's Kadıköy to Kartal districts that will significantly reduce travel times will start in June 2011, the mayor has said.

Test drives on an Istanbul metro line that will significantly reduce travel times from the city’s Kadıköy to Kartal districts will start in June 2011, Mayor Kadir Topbaş has announced, daily Vatan reported Friday.

A total of 5,500 rails, each 18 meters long, will be installed in eight months, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality official said, adding that the city aims to provide a transportation service on the city’s Anatolian side that will be used by a million commuters per day.

Once the line is completed, commuters who board in Kartal will be able to travel to Kadıköy in 29 minutes, to Üsküdar in 35 minutes, to Taksim Square in 55 minutes and to the Olympic Stadium in 89 minutes, Topbaş said, adding that the system will carry 120 metro cars and cost $1.5 billion.

According to the mayor, the city has invested $5.13 billion in the metro system since 2004. “Our goal is to furnish Istanbul with 204 kilometers of railway by 2013. The metro line will reach 26 kilometers with this planned project,” Topbaş said.

The construction of new metro lines cannot be completed with just the fares paid by riders for their daily journeys, Topbaş said, emphasizing the importance of the government’s support for the city’s transportation system. Opponents had criticized the use of government, rather than municipal, funds to build the metro, referring to the law that allowed it as the “kıyak” (super) law, a term also used to refer to easy work assignments and cushy layoff packages.

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