Bursa to rival traffic-hit Istanbul in sea transport

Bursa to rival traffic-hit Istanbul in sea transport

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Bursa to rival traffic-hit Istanbul in sea transport

This file photo shows an İDO ferry leaving the harbor. Passengers using the ferry line between Istanbul and Bursa have been complaining about high prices. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

The Bursa Metropolitan Municipality has taken action to obtain port permission to transport passengers to Istanbul by establishing a marine transportation enterprise, as complaints mount against the ticket price policy of İDO, Istanbul’s ferry company, Anatolia news agency reported yesterday. However, İDO dismissed allegations in an email response to the Daily News yesterday.

Noting that the municipality had been working on marine transportation for the last three years, Bursa Mayor Recep Altepe said, “Marine transportation is a short cut linking [Bursa] to Istanbul’s European side. … It takes nearly 1.5 hours. İDO has assumed this function very well, but significant annoyance occurred after it was privatized.”

Turhan Tayan, a deputy of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), recently filed a complaint with the Competition Authority against the İDO, claiming that the company, which was privatized in 2011, was abusing its monopoly position in marine transportation in the Marmara region.

“The price of a ticket should not be hiked from 10 Turkish Liras to 30 liras. It could have reasonably been increased to only 12 liras. Everybody is annoyed because of such a disparity. I wish İDO had continued with its business as usual,” Altepe said.

The municipality has accelerated works on founding a marine transportation company, as complaints regarding İDO’s ticket prices mount not only from Bursa but also from neighboring provinces like Yalova, he said, adding that the marine transportation service would start right away after obtaining the necessary permission.

İDO told the Daily News yesterday that it was not holding a monopoly position as it has rivals such as Dentur and Turyol at many piers.

However, Dentur and Turyol operates only in Istanbul.

“We use a flexible pricing system in ticket sales. The main goal of the system is to allow passengers plan their trips earlier and to make passengers benefit from opportunities that arise from distributing demand in a more balanced way,” İDO said.

Flexible pricing does not lead to a higher turnover than the fixed price system, it said, implying that the goal of the system was not to make a higher profit out of existing marine lines. “Flexible pricing pleases many passengers who make planned travels,” İDO said.

Istanbul hires Dardanelles ferries to beat traffic
İDO has doubled the capacity of the Harem-Sirkeci ferryboat line. This was because the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, one of the two bridges connecting the two sides of Istanbul, and the Golden Horn Bridge, will be maintaned for months, leading to an increase in demand for marine transportation. İDO rented two ferryboats from the GESTAŞ, a marine transporter active in the Dardanelles Strait, after it had shifted two ferryboats from the Eskihisar-Topçular line.

Traffic to hit Ankara too

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

The Ankara Governor’s Office has announced that İnönü Boulevard, one of main arteries of the capital, will be closed to traffic from June 25 on due to metro construction work. Most important government offices, university campuses and large shopping malls are on either side of the boulevard connecting the city center with western residential areas.

The government took over the construction of the Ankara metro last year, after Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek announced that he could not proceed with the work further because of financial problems.