BusLab study lays the foundation for integrated transport in Istanbul
EMBARQ Turkey recently conducted a study on 69 bus lines operated by Istanbul Electricity, Tramway and Tunnel General Management (IETT) in Istanbul, Turkey. The study aims to understand the interactions of IETT’s 69 bus lines with Istanbul’s other transport modes - including the IDO ferry system, minibuses, and bicycles - with the goal of defining strategies to connect each transport mode and facilitate integrated and high quality service.
Meeting the increased demand for integrated transport
Istanbul’s rapidly growing population increasingly relies upon mass transport to move efficiently throughout the city, which for years has been burdened by extreme traffic congestion. One persistent issue of the current, non-integrated system – and a deterrent from choosing sustainable transport – is the fee when making transfers between modes. Additionally, different organizations and operators within Istanbul’s transport system have numerous and often conflicting desires for how the system will function. Some want decreased costs, while others want to increase frequency and reduce wait times, while still others want to provide greater comfort and quality of service. EMBARQ Turkey was tasked with finding a solution to the myriad demands of Istanbul’s current transport users while simultaneously identifying ways to attract more people to the system.
Paving the way towards targeted transport improvements
EMBARQ Turkey’s technical team worked in the field throughout the summer of 2013 and again in early 2014 along the Kadıköy-Kartal M4 Metro Line, inaugurated on August 17, 2012 on the Anatolian side of Istanbul. Based on observations at sixteen stations and surrounding areas within a 1km (.62 mile) radius, the team then analysed the data and found three key areas for improvement.
First, the team pointed out that minibus operations could better align their route times with hours when full-size buses already operate, and take over routes that are hard for full-size buses to navigate. This would enable multi-modal integration and increase efficiency by reducing route duplication. Furthermore, the team recommended redesigning route structure around the areas of greatest demand and highlighted safety and accessibility as key factors that encourage greater usage of sustainable transport.
This study serves as an important starting point for Istanbul to better understand the complexity of its transport networks. However, there is still work to be done to implement these recommendations within Istanbul and within other cities across Turkey to advance accessible, efficient, and high quality sustainable transport. EMBARQ Turkey will continue to collaborate with IETT and other organizations to provide design and implementation recommendations and help Turkey shape a user-oriented integrated transport system.