Istanbul public transport
November 28, 2021
In Istanbul, there are many means of public transport available to the city’s more than 14 million inhabitants. Public transport in the traditional sense began in 1871 with the commissioning of the first horse-drawn railway, although in 1851 steamboats were already operating between the European and Asian sides, which can be considered a form of public transport. The funicular railway called Tünel was started in 1874, and by 1914 electric trams were running on the European side of the city. A key element of Istanbul’s modern public transport is the metro, which is under continuous development and will have six operating lines in 2020, and the city government plans to extend its length to 1,000 kilometers after 2019. In 2013, the Marmaray Tunnel, which runs under the Bosphorus, was opened to include suburban railways (banliyö). In addition to the Tunnel, the railway network is complemented by two other funicular railways and two cable cars. Istanbul’s bus network is operated by two companies with more than 4,000 vehicles on 750 lines. The largest train station for long-distance buses is Istanbul Bus Station. There is also a special high-speed bus network in Istanbul, Metrobus. Dolmuşs, which are typical of Turkish cities, are also widespread in Istanbul and function as a taxi on a fixed route. Water transport is an important part of everyday life in the city, with many ferries and water buses running between the two shores of the Bosphorus. Istanbul is served by three international airports, the Atatürk Airport named after the state founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on the European side of the city, the Sabiha Gökçen Airport named after Atatürk’s adopted daughter on the Asian side, and the Istanbul Airport handed over in 2018. You can pay on Istanbul’s public transport with Istanbulkart, a smart card smart card payment system.