Istanbul’s Marmaray has carried 226 million passengers in four years: Transportation Minister
The Marmaray railway linking Istanbul’s European and Asian sides under the Bosphorus Strait has carried a total of 226 million passengers since it began service four years ago, enabling locals to save 226 million hours of travel time, Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan said on Oct. 29.
“We’re celebrating the fourth year of Marmaray, the ‘project of the century.’ We have carried 226 million passengers, which means an average of 333 journeys a day,” Arslan told state-run Anadolu Agency.
The underwater rail tunnel Marmaray took its maiden journey on Oct. 29, 2013 following a grand ceremony, which coincided with the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the Turkish Republic.
The minister said the number of passengers using the service on busy days could approach 200,000. He said the line was efficient not only in terms of easing Istanbul’s traffic but also because it was eco-friendly.
Since Marmaray came into service approximately 26,300 vehicles have been pulled out of Istanbul traffic. “Marmaray has prevented 201,000 tons of gas emission into the environment and saved $5 million worth of gas costs,” Arslan said.
“On the 94th year of the Turkish Republic, we are proud to be realizing projects worthy of our Republic and our people,” Arslan added.
Arslan also touched on the Gebze-Halkalı high speed railway, which connects Halkalı on the European side with Gebze on the Asian side. Arslan said the new line, which ensures a complementary rail connection to the Marmaray line, is expected to enter commercial service next year.