Air rail between Başakşehir and Halkalı approved by Istanbul municipality
ISTANBULThe Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) council approved a transportation project which includes an air rail (havaray) system between the Başakşehir and Halkalı districts on its European side, in an attempt to improve the city’s traffic congestion problem, despite objections from the opposition.
The project was approved by the votes of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members in the council, while the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) members in the council objected to the project due to their concerns over the air rail’s route and integration.
The 1/5,000 scale plan proposal was discussed in the municipal council’s meeting. The plan was approved as being for the “public interest,” despite the objections from the CHP members.
The municipal council’s CHP members’ spokesperson, Tonguç Çoban, said they are not against public transportation projects, but added they have seen problems in the project.
“We found the metro projects insufficient. We believe that it will not be efficient unless they are planned together with other public transportation projects in an integrated way. Otherwise it would be waste of resources,” said Çoban. He also said air rail lines should not be used everywhere in the city, including Istanbul’s historical peninsula, due to its effect on the city’s silhouette.
The air rail project will be built on an 11.6-kilometer route between the Sefaköy-Halkalı-Başakşehir stations. The air rail will start its route at the Sefaköy metrobus station and head to Halkalı Square. It will have stations in Atakent, İkitelli and Başakşehir 1st stage metro. The air rail will be integrated with the metro line between Beylikdüzü and İncirli, the Kirazlı-Halkalı light rail transit line and the metro between Mecidiyeköy and Mahmutbey.
In January, the İBB announced a new tender for eight separate air rail projects, which were planned to link a number of neighborhoods.
The project will initially include eight lines – four on each continent – both in central and suburban areas of Turkey’s largest metropolis. The first line is planned between the remote suburbs of Kartal and Tuzla along the Asian coast of the Marmara Sea.
Other lines will connect the vibrant districts of Beyoğlu and Şişli, as well as Beşiktaş and Sarıyer, on the European side. The business center of 4th Levent will be linked to the nearby neighborhoods of Gültepe and Çeliktepe, which have only been connected by bus up to now. Another major line will be built between the populous residential Asian districts of Ataşehir and Ümraniye.