Inner city fast ferry lines in Istanbul to be halted
The depreciation in the value of Turkish Lira and new transportation means in and around Istanbul has added to the losses the company suffered since its privatization in 2011, company sources told Turkish broadcaster Bloomberg HT on Nov. 14.
Ferries running between Beşiktaş and Bakırköy piers on the European side and Bostancı pier on the Anatolian side will stop serving as of Dec. 1, according to the sources. Ferry lines to the Princes’ Islands will also be halted.
Decreased frequency of inner city lines has recently caused public backlash and the company was expected to focus on its lines to the piers in the Marmara Sea provinces of Yalova, Bursa, Balıkesir and Kocaeli.
İDO operated its fast ferry lines, starting from 1987, within the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality until it was acquired by the Tepe-Akfen-Souter-Sera consortium for $861 million.
The sources also said the foreseen losses arising from new transportation projects were miscalculated and the company’s demands to raise ticket fares were rejected by the authorities. Souter, the Scottish partner of the consortium, pressed for halting the inner city lines, sources said.
Particularly the Osmangazi Bridge, built over the İzmit Bay and opened in July 2016, has dramatically lowered the demand for the ferry line running between Kocaeli’s Eskihisar and Yalova’s Topçular piers.
The Eurasia Tunnel, the road connecting Istanbul’s European and Anatolian sides underneath the Bosphorus Strait, also provided an alternative for commuters in the megapolis.