Istanbul’s Beşiktaş-Prince's Islands winter ferry line canceled, other services reduced
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
City Lines, which is run by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, has announced a suspension of ferry services between the Beşiktaş district on Istanbul’s European side and the Princes’ Islands (“Adalar” in Turkish) from Jan. 1 until June 3 later this year.
“Due to cancellations in the winter period caused by bad weather conditions and low passenger levels, no ferries will run [between Beşiktaş and the Princes’ Islands] in the winter period, until June 3, 2018. The ferries will start running again with the summer schedule,” the municipality has said.
As an alternative to the Beşiktaş-Adalar line, Istanbulites may travel to the Princes’ Islands using the Kadıköy ferry service on the Asian side, as this route will continue unaffected as indicated in the winter schedule, the municipality said. “Adalar lines undertaken by private sector ferries are another alternative,” the municipality added.
In 2017, a total of 360,587 people traveled on the Beşiktaş-Adalar ferry line, with the numbers calculated using the turnstile system, the municipality has announced. Many passengers have demanded that ferries on this line continue to operate.
In January 2017, the number of passengers who used the service came to 6,435, whereas in the busy month of August 2017, this number stood at 58,390.
The spokesperson of the NGO Islands Defense (“Adalar Savunması” in Turkish) Ömer Süvari told daily Sözcü on Jan. 1 that the cancellation signaled a “dismissal of the locals’ needs,” saying that the move was undertaken because the line did not generate enough revenue for the municipality during winter months due to low passenger levels.
“City Lines ferries millions of people during the summer months and as a result earns a large income, but when it comes to the needs of those living on the Princes’ Islands during winter, it disregards the public interest, the needs of the people, and the right to transportation,” Süvari reportedly said.
City Lines has also announced that ferry routes running between the Anadolukavağı neighborhood of Beykoz and Üsküdar as well as between the Rumelikavağı neighborhood of Sarıyer and Eminönü would be cancelled if “there was no demand” for them.
Meanwhile, the Istanbul Fast Ferries Company, colloquially known as “IDO,” has reduced the number of journeys on the Beşiktaş-Bostancı service to two (both ways) per day. It has also reduced the Bostancı-Bakırköy service to four (also both ways) per day.