Bursa buys first ferry to begin Istanbul trips

Bursa buys first ferry to begin Istanbul trips

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Bursa buys first ferry to begin Istanbul trips

An İDO ferry passes through Istanbul’s Bosphorus. The firm may soon have a rival. Hürriyet photo

Bursa municipality has signed a deal with a Norwegian firm to buy its first ferry in a bid to compete with Istanbul’s ferry firm Istanbul Fast Ferries (İDO). The deal includes the purchase of one ferry, and talks continue on the purchase of two additional ferries.

The municipality is continuing its efforts to win a share in marine transportation between Istanbul and Bursa, Bursa Mayor Recep Altepe told Anatolia news agency.

“We have strong relations with Istanbul. Thousands of people travel between the two cities, and marine transportation between them grows in importance every day. But we have taken steps in this direction, because some problems have come up recently,” he said.

The first ferry will be delivered in 15 days, he said, adding that talks continue to procure two more form Germany and Norway. The first trips will leave from Bursa’s Mudanya district and dock at Kabataş in Istanbul, and service will begin in one month, Altepe said, adding that Bursa has the crew, captains and system in place.

“Our goal is to provide regular service to citizens who were troubled by [İDO’s] flexible price policy,” Altepe said.

İDO faced a negative public reaction to its “flexible” pricing policy, initiated at the beginning of the summer and stepped back from the policy as more patron objected to the company’s higher-priced last-minute tickets. Hamdi Akın, chairman of Akfen Holding, a local property developer and airport and port operator that owns a 30 percent share in İDO, apologized.