Improving Road Safety for Istanbul’s Buses


Bus in Istanbul. Photo Credit: Benoit Colin/WRI

Since 2011, WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities has worked effectively with the Istanbul Public Bus Authority (İETT) to improve road safety. In 2013, the collaboration resulted in US $11 million worth of investments to improve safety and accessibility for all 44 stations along the city’s bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor. The investment succeeded at reducing traffic fatalities early on, prompting the İETT to set a goal of becoming a Center of Excellence in BRT and Bus Systems within a few years.

However, after initial success, the number of severe traffic crashes grew in 2014, and buses were involved in 10 percent of all traffic crashes throughout the city. According to the Turkey team’s sustainable mobility survey with more than 3,000 cyclists and pedestrians, bus driver behavior and training was one of the main sources of problems.

With support from Alcoa Foundation, WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities is now conducting road safety inspections for the Istanbul Public Bus Authority (İETT) and providing safe driving training for bus drivers.

The team will examine traffic crash data in Istanbul and analyze hot spots through robust modelling. In consultation with İETT, they will determine the three most dangerous bus routes, conduct road safety inspections and assess accessibility. Based on the findings, the team will develop an inspection report with recommendations for improving road infrastructure. Additionally, the project will provide training for 250 İETT bus drivers on safe driving, using before and after surveys to define key problems and gaps. 

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