Fatma Aksu - ISTANBUL
A major change in the organization of intra-city transport in Istanbul will be introduced in which bus operations will be transferred from the Istanbul Electric Tramway and Tunnel Company (İETT) to the Istanbul Municipality.
The İETT, which has been carrying passengers in Istanbul for 145 years, now will only carry passengers of buses commuting on a preference road line, tramway and funiculars. With the new regulation, the İETT will run operations in planning and monitoring cabs, minibuses, service buses of schools and businesses, subways and fast ferries.
The İETT is expected to be the “only authority” in Istanbul’s public transport systems with its latest project, which will be presented for an approval from the Istanbul Municipality’s Council. According to the new project, the company will control many of its services’ administrative works.
Arif Emecen, İETT’s general manager, recently said in a presentation that there would be major changes on the Commission of Law and Transportation Commission before the projects were offered to the Municipality’s Council’s agenda.
“Right now, there is more than one authority in control of public transport in Istanbul. Planning, coordination and supervision is being intended to be controlled by a single hand,” Emecen told daily Hürriyet, adding that the İETT will also be focusing on auditing functions, besides consultancy, coordination and planning.
“İETT, with its 145 years of experience and accumulation, provides support and contributes to the formation of a road map for this issue. This will be an integrated transportation plan, in which not only buses, but all rubber-tyred vehicles will be included in the system. Planning, auditing and coordination will be controlled by one authority. İETT will be providing consultancies for public transportation authorities in Turkey and across the world,” he added.
Emecan stressed that the planned measures would work on increasing passengers’ comfort and security. As part of new measures, a system that would include providing spaces for four passengers per square meter was also underway, he added.
“It will be a system that will provide resources and line optimization. All of the vehicles will be checked at least once via auditors from the İETT and professional teams. Passenger comfort will be brought forward. We conducted studies on a total of 30 cities regarding the issue, including London, Seoul, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong and Copenhagen,” he said.