ISTANBUL - The Metrobus transport line in Istanbul, which began one year ago as an intergration of the underground metro and regular city bus systems, has had more passengers than expected.
Operating every two minutes between Avcılar-Zincirlikuyu, the system, which can carry around 500,000 passengers per day, has turned out to be inadequate. Metrobuses packed with passengers have to wait a long time at stops, especially in Yenibosna, Şirinevler and Cevizlibağ.
It is not only metrobuses that are overcrowded; stairways leading in and out of metro stops are also packed. Passengers getting on and off metrobuses have to use the same staircase, causing increasingly dangerous situations.
Cengiz Öztürk, press liaison officer for the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, said demand had been greater than anticipated and stairwells could be expanded. "Offering rapid, easy transport, metrobuses have decreased the number of cars on the road significantly. Approximately 70,000 cars have been taken off the roads with the metrobus system," said Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş.
According to Topbaş, YTL 11.4 billion of a YTL 2.5 billion investment in Istanbul over the last 4.5 years has been spent on transport. The route of the metrobus will be extended to Kozyatağı on the Asian side of Istanbul and to Beylikdüzü on the European side. The total length of the line will be 54 kilometers and decrease average travel time between the two endpoints from over two hours to just 80 minutes.