Metrobus (Istanbul)

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Istanbul Metrobus Official Logo.png
Mecidiyeköy Metrobüs Durağı cropped.jpg
Locale Istanbul
Transit type Bus rapid transit (BRT)
Number of lines 1
Number of stations 45
Daily ridership 800,000 [1]
Began operation 2007
Operator(s) IETT
Number of vehicles 334 [2]
System length 50 km (31.1 mi)
System map
Showing the Metrobüs line (cream colour) in relation to rest of the Istanbul public transport network

Metrobus (Turkish: Metrobüs) is a 50 km (31.1 mi) bus rapid transit route in İstanbul, Turkey with 45 stations which follows the city's ring-road via Avcılar, Zincirlikuyu and the Bosphorus Bridge to Söğütlüçeşme using dedicated bus lanes for much of the route.[3]

The busway, the first section of which opened in 2007 after two years of construction, is used by a number of Metrobus lines which operate within this ‘closed’ system carrying 800,000 people daily. The Turkish authorities have since assisted with the development of a similar system in Lahore, Pakistan, which opened in 2013. The name Metrobüs was coined by the transit agency to suggest that this system is a hybrid between a metro train (Turkish: metro) and a bus (Turkish: otobüs).


Planning and construction[edit]

Construction of the first section of the busway, between Avcılar (serving Istanbul University's Avcılar campus) and Topkapı started in 2005.[4]


The busway opened on September 17, 2007.[4] It was then extended in an easterly direction from Topkapı to Zincirlikuyu, and then from Zincirlikuyu to Söğütlüçeşme, which is on the Anatolian side of Istanbul. In 2012, it was extended from Avcılar to a western residential suburb, Beylikdüzü.[5]


The busway is approximately 50 km (31 mi) in length and has 45 stations,[6] with one lane each direction following Istanbul's main highway D-100 .

The system mainly follows the city's ringroad, with a fully separated right-of-way between Avcılar and Zincirlikuyu and between the eastern end of the Bosphorus Bridge and Söğütlüçeşme. There are no intersections with a dedicated bus lane in each direction with few passing lanes.[3] Buses drive on the left-hand side of the bus lane, so that their doors, designed for conventional operation with door to the right-hand side of the vehicle, open onto the bidirectional central platforms. Most services operate only with the ‘closed’ BRT system however.

The following table shows the interval between buses (headway) for each of three sections of the line for vehicles traveling in an easterly direction; intervals for buses in the other direction are similar.[7]

Section of Route Avcılar - Topkapı Edirnekapı - Zincirlikuyu Bosphorus Bridge - Söğütlüçeşme
Days of week Weekday Saturday Sunday Weekday Saturday Sunday Weekday Saturday Sunday
Average headway (during busiest hour) 0:14 0:24 0:36 0:17 0:24 0:40 0:42 1:05 1:15
Average headway (between 1am to 6am) 2:00 2:51 6:00 4:17 2:51 6:00 8:34 6:40 6:40
Average headway (over 24 hours) 0:28 0:45 1:19 0:40 0:46 1:24 1:33 1:59 2:15
Number of Trips / Day 3,138 1,919 1,093 2,180 1,895 1,023 926 726 642

Times above shown as 'minutes:seconds'


There are six main services, each operating on different sub-sections of the route, and also the infrequent 34G, a 'night service', which operates over the full length for the busway.

Table showing the number of trips made by different lines using the busway

Line No. Route Termini Daily Number of Trips
Weekdays Saturdays Sundays & Holidays
34 Avcılar - Zincirlikuyu 1,824 1,732 1,012
34T Avcılar - Topkapı 1,284 174 70
34Z Zincirlikuyu - Söğütlüçeşme 570 566 631
34A Edirnekapı - Söğütlüçeşme 326 150 0
34G Beylikdüzü - Söğütlüçeşme 30 10 11
Total 4,034 2,632 1,724

Proposed developments[edit]

At the eastern end, a new extension to Göztepe is planned.


Inside of a Metrobüs, Phileas brand vehicle
Metrobus Fleet
Vehicle Length (meters) Number of seats Passenger Capacity Number of Axles
Mercedes-Benz Citaro [3] 18.00 42 150 3
Mercedes CapaCity [3] 19.54 42 193 4
Phileas bi-articulated diesel–electric buses 26.00 52 230 4

Incidents and issues[edit]

Reliability of Phileas buses[edit]

It has been suggested that Phileas buses, which are now rarely used, were underpowered and not strong enough to carry heavy passenger loads and climb steep hills typical in Istanbul, though the hillclimbing aspect of this perception does not appear to have much evidential basis.[8] IETT's stated loading capacity (no. of people) for the buses was considerably higher than that of the manufacturer[citation needed] The Phileas buses were designed with the capacity to use an electronic guided bus system.[9] The one-way Metrobus lanes become blocked whenever a bus breaks down causing delays for the buses in that direction.[10]

The makers of the Phileas buses’ APTS’ were taken to court in 2010 by IETT over the failures.[11] An official investigation was launched by the government with the company.[citation needed]

Stations and route stopping patterns[edit]

Shaded boxes indicate route operates from the station.[7]

  • Routes
  1. 34 (Avcılar - Zincirlikuyu)
  2. 34A (Söğütlüçeşme - Cevizlibağ AÖY)
  3. 34AS (Avcılar - Söğütlüçeşme)
  4. 34BZ (Beylikdüzü - Zincirlikuyu)
  5. 34C (Beylikdüzü - Cevizlibağ)
  6. 34G (Beylikdüzü - Söğütlüçeşme) (Only Night)(G = Gece = Night)(22.00/06.00)
  7. 34U (Uzunçayır - Zincirlikuyu)
  8. 34Z (Zincirlikuyu - Söğütlüçeşme)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Istanbul - Metrobus, A Solution That Scales". Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  2. ^ "IETT Distribution of daily passenger according to the transportation types". Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  3. ^ a b c d "BRT in Istanbul: Mercedes-Benz CapaCity highly effective and popular as a comfortable rapid transit bus with a high capacity". 2009-08-22. 
  4. ^ a b "Metrobüs ilk deneme seferini yaptı". 2007-09-17. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  5. ^ Metrobüs Hakkında
  6. ^ "İETT Metrobüs Hatları". 
  7. ^ a b "Metrobus Statistics from IETT". IETT. Archived from the original on 2011-10-06. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  8. ^ "Expensive buses head to the garage". Hurriyet. 2009-04-21. 
  9. ^ "50 metrobusů Phileas pro Istanbul.". 2007-12-07. Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  10. ^ "Happy with Metrobus, when there is no better alternative.". Hurriyet Daily News. 2009-07-22. Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  11. ^ "Phileas’lar mahkemelik oldu". Yerel Haber. 2010-10-09. 
  12. ^ "İETT - İstanbul Elektrik Tramvay ve Tünel İşletmeleri Genel Müdürlügü" (in Turkish). Retrieved 2013-01-24. 
  13. ^ "Metrobüs Hatları" (in Turkish). İETT. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 

External links[edit]