Bus-only lanes planned to ease Istanbul traffic
As part of the project, which will begin Sept. 3, certain traffic lanes throughout the city will be closed to all traffic except buses between certain hours.The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality is set to launch a new project called “Public Transportation Line” in an effort to relieve the city’s myriad traffic problems.
As part of the project, which will begin Sept. 3, certain traffic lanes throughout the city will be closed to all traffic except buses between the hours of 7 and 10 a.m. and 4 and 8 p.m. on weekdays.
Officials have said they expect the project to persuade 17,000 more people to use public transportation instead of private vehicles daily.
The project will first be piloted on the Topkapı-Aksaray and Şirinevler-Mahmutbey routes before being extended to include the Topkapı-Aksaray-Taksim, Kızıltoprak-Bostancı-Tuzla, Beşiktaş-Maslak and Yenikapı-Başakşehir routes.
If the initiative is successful, it will be extended to a larger area, according to officials.
Vertical and horizontal signs have been erected to alert drivers as to the hours in which the restrictions will be in effect, as well as the location of the lanes’ entrances and exits.
The Istanbul Police Department’s Traffic Supervision Department will monitor the lanes with cameras, to prevent private vehicles from entering, parking or engaging in loading and unloading activities in the lanes during the restricted hours.
The right lanes in both directions on the Topkapı-Aksaray route will be reserved for Istanbul Public Transport Authority (İETT) buses and Private Public Buses (ÖHO) during the restricted hours, while the Şirinevler-Mahmutbey road will only be open to İETT and ÖHO buses, as well as minibuses. Taxis, however, will also be able to operate in the lanes.
Officials expect the project to save 650 liters of gasoline and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,500 tons.