Traffic problem to end by 2016: Istanbul mayor

Traffic problem to end by 2016: Istanbul mayor

A new plan will solve Istanbul’s mass transportation problems by 2016, according to Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş.

Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş said a new transportation plan had recently been completed, daily Bugün reported yesterday. Within this plan, they specified the future of rail systems, subways, water transportation and land transportation vehicles.

“We [are planning] 641 kilometers of subway and rail systems. When we complete [this plan], transportation in Istanbul will be based largely on subways and rail systems. In 2016 the residents of Istanbul will no longer have traffic problems. By that time, most of the line will be completed, new buses will be provided and minibus systems will change. Also taxis will work more systematically. Urban transportation will become much easier. Then it will not be necessary to talk about transportation so much,” he said.

“The Transportation Ministry is currently building some new roads on the order of our prime minister.

Some contracts covering the third Bosphorus bridge and ring roads have been made. We also made crossroads and underpasses at the points where traffic is intense,” Topbaş said.

“When we came into office, there were 2,050,000 vehicles. Now this number has exceeded 2,950,000.

Of every 1,000 people in Istanbul, 226 have personal cars, while this number is 450 out of 1,000 in Europe. That means we are still behind [European] standards. We are improving water transportation and integrating different systems so that Istanbul residents will choose mass transportation over private cars,” Topbaş said, adding that even though the population had increased and the number of vehicles had reached 3 million, current traffic levels were currently behind previous years. “The periods of waiting in traffic have decreased.”

Topbaş said they first predicted that about 350,000 to 400,000 passengers would use metrobuses, but the number had reached 800,000 in practice.

He also said they were working on a new metro line and would buy about 3,000 new buses within two years.