Istanbul municipality to launch tender for air rail
ISTANBULThe Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) will launch a tender for an air rail system to link two rapidly developing urban areas on the European side of the city.
The open tender for the Başakşehir-Halkalı route will be held on Nov. 14, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Oct. 20.
The air rail system, nine kilometers in length, must be finished within 365 days and will be opened in 2019, it also reported. The planned air rail’s stations will start in the Sefaköy district and end in the Başakşehir district.
The move comes as Istanbul’s chronic traffic congestion problem continues to paralyze the city. In April 2015, GPS maker TomTom ranked Istanbul as the world’s worst city for traffic congestion. The population of Istanbul is rising steadily every year, and the city already has a population amounting to a quarter of Turkey’s overall population.
Meanwhile, a tender for construction of a new metro line between Kazlıçeşme and Söğütlüçeşme will also be launched by the municipality.
Works have already started for the Kazlıçeşme-Söğütlüçeşme metro line, labeled as a similar project to the Marmaray, the 8.5 mile line connecting Istanbul’s European and Asian sides with a tunnel below the Bosphorus, opened in 2013.
Wide scale examinations, in order to obtain technical and statistical data, such as the number of passengers, station places and ground investigations, are have been accelerated and the tender for the Kazlıçeşme-Söğütlüçeşme metro line will be held on Oct. 26. The project, with a length of 20 kilometers, is expected to be completed in 720 days and is hoped to relieve traffic in Istanbul’s north.
Another tender will be held for five kilometers of the Kabataş-Bağcılar tramway line will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 26. The municipality is planning to put two kilometers of the tramway underground between Seyitnizam and Zeytinburnu. It also plans to lengthen the Başakşehir-Kayaşehir metro line. The tender will be held for the aforementioned five kilometers in total.
The air rail project was previously approved with the votes of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members in the İBB council. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) members in the council objected to the project due to concerns over the air rail’s route and integration.