|Transit type||Bus rapid transit (BRT)|
|Number of lines||1|
|Number of stations||45|
|Daily ridership||800,000 |
|Number of vehicles||334 |
|System length||50 km (31.1 mi)|
The Metrobus (Turkish: Metrobüs) is a 50 km (31.1 mi) bus rapid transit route in Istanbul, Turkey. The system has 45 stations that follow the city's ring road via Avcılar, Zincirlikuyu and the Bosphorus Bridge to Söğütlüçeşme using dedicated bus lanes for almost the entire length the route.[a]
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 a ‘closed’ system carrying 800,000 people daily. Turkish authorities have since assisted with the development of a similar system in Lahore, Pakistan, which opened in 2013. Its name was coined by the İETT to suggest that the system is a hybrid between a metro train (Turkish: metro) and a bus (Turkish: otobüs).
Planning and construction
The busway opened on September 17, 2007. It was then extended in an easterly direction from Topkapı to Zincirlikuyu, and then from Zincirlikuyu to Söğütlüçeşme, the latter of which is on the Anatolian side of Istanbul. In 2012, it was extended from Avcılar to a western residential suburb, Beylikdüzü.
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. 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.
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.
|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|
At the eastern end, a new extension to Göztepe is planned.
|Vehicle||Length (meters)||Number of seats||Passenger Capacity||Number of Axles|
|Mercedes-Benz Citaro ||18.00||42||150||3|
|Mercedes CapaCity ||19.54||42||193||4|
|Phileas bi-articulated diesel–electric buses||26.00||52||230||4|
Controversy and criticism of Phileas buses
Reliability and safety
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 of the topography of Istanbul. The hillclimbing aspect of this perception, though widely reported by the press, does not appear to have much evidential basis.
İETT's stated loading capacity (no. of people) for Phileas buses was considerably higher than that of the manufacturer. According to Phileas manufacturer APTS, the total capacity of the Phileas buses bought by İETT was 185 passengers. In comparison, former İETT president Mehmet Öztürk stated that the buses could safely operate with upwards of 280 passengers.
The single-lane Metrobus roads are frequently blocked by Phileas buses breaking down, causing delays for the all buses in a single direction. In May 2009, then-İETT president Mehmet Öztürk invited press members to "falsify untrue allegations against the Phileas brand buses". During the demonstration, another Phileas bus operating on the same lane broke down, thus blocking the route of the press bus for approximately five minutes. Öztürk later argued that the accident was the result of operator error. Also in 2009, İETT dismissed concerns regarding their institutional incompetence and the design of Phileas buses, citing "the very high loading at peak hours as the reason for malfunctioning rather than the road slope."
Phileas buses were designed with the capacity to use an electronic guided bus system. Öztürk pointed out that the guided bus system ensured that Phileas buses were safer than others, and that, even in the case of a front tire blowing out at speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour, the vehicle would not crash. Despite his confidence in the safety of Phileas buses, one caught on fire in early 2015, further deepening concerns amongst the press and the Istanbulite public regarding their reliability and safety.
The manufacturers of the Phileas buses, APTS, were taken to court in 2010 by İETT over the failures. In 2017, CHP MP Gürsel Tekin stated that former Minister of the Interior Beşir Atalay, along with other members of the AKP cabinet, twice prevented the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) from initiating an investigation into the matter. An official investigation was launched by the government with the company.
Finances and corruption allegations
The purchase of the Phileas buses was widely criticized in media as a waste of resources. In 2007, each Phileas bus cost 1.2 million Euros,[b] and a total of 63 million Euros was paid by İETT to acquire 50 of them. In contrast, a Mercedes-Benz Capacity only cost 300 thousand Euros,[c] and proved to be much more useful for the Metrobus. In 2008, civil service inspectors from the Ministry of the Interior uncovered 100 million Euros worth of irregular financial transactions in the İETT, chiefly relating to the purchase of the Phileas fleet. Their report to the Ministry, implicating high-ranking İETT officials including former president Mehmet Öztürk, indicated that the 63 million Euro purchase was made without a tender. By the request of the inspectors, a judicial investigation into İETT leadership was initiated by the Beyoğlu Office of the Chief Public Prosecutor, with Öztürk providing a written testimony.
Stations and route stopping patterns
Shaded boxes indicate route operates from the station.
- 34 (Avcılar - Zincirlikuyu)
- 34A (Söğütlüçeşme - Cevizlibağ AÖY)
- 34AS (Avcılar - Söğütlüçeşme)
- 34BZ (Beylikdüzü - Zincirlikuyu)
- 34C (Beylikdüzü - Cevizlibağ)
- 34G (Beylikdüzü - Söğütlüçeşme) (Only Night)(G = Gece = Night)(22.00/06.00)
- 34U (Uzunçayır - Zincirlikuyu)
- 34Z (Zincirlikuyu - Söğütlüçeşme)
|Stations & Route Stopping Patterns|
|Route length (km)||30||22||10||29||52||15||11||11.5|
|Route duration (min)||60||50||22||57||100||60||25||30|
|Number of stations||26||19||12||26||44||15||6||8|
|İBB Sosyal Tesisler|
|Mustafa Kemal Paşa|
|Beylikdüzü Sondurak (TÜYAP)|
- "Istanbul - Metrobus, A Solution That Scales". Archived from the original on 2011-11-12. Retrieved 2011-11-05.
- "IETT Distribution of daily passenger according to the transportation types". Retrieved 2014-04-24.
- Yazıcı, M. Anıl; Levinson, Herbert S.; Ilıcalı, Mustafa; Camkesen, Nilgün; Kamga, Camille (2013). "A Bus Rapid Transit Line Case Study: Istanbul's Metrobüs System". Journal of Public Transportation. 16 (1): 153–177 – via usf.edu.
- "BRT in Istanbul: Mercedes-Benz CapaCity highly effective and popular as a comfortable rapid transit bus with a high capacity". omnibusarchiv.de. 2009-08-22.
- "Lahor metrobüs hattına Türk şirketleri damgası" [Turkish corporations' mark on Lahore's metrobus line]. Anadolu Ajansı (in Turkish). February 9, 2013. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
- "Metrobüs ilk deneme seferini yaptı". Ntvmsnbc.com. 2007-09-17. Archived from the original on 2011-10-07. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
- Metrobüs Hakkında
- "İETT Metrobüs Hatları". Archived from the original on 2011-05-12.
- "Metrobus Statistics from IETT". IETT. Archived from the original on 2011-10-06. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- "Expensive buses head to the garage". Hurriyet. 2009-04-21.
- "Metrobüsler neden garajda!" [Why are metrobuses in the garage!]. www.ntv.com.tr (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-08-20.
- "Metrobüs İETT Genel Müdürü'nü 'yolda bıraktı'" [The Metrobus left the İETT President 'on the road']. www.ntv.com.tr (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-08-20.
- "Happy with Metrobus, when there is no better alternative". Hurriyet Daily News. 2009-07-22. Retrieved 2011-11-05.
- "Uzmanlar Uyarmıştı Ama Yanan Metrobüsün Faturası Ağır Oldu". Haberler.com (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-08-20.
- "50 metrobusů Phileas pro Istanbul". busportal.cz. 2007-12-07. Retrieved 2011-11-05.
- "Uzmanlar Uyarmıştı Ama Yanan Metrobüsün Faturası Ağır Oldu" [Experts had Warned, but the Price Tag of the Burned Metrobus was High]. Haberler.com (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-08-20.
- "Phileas'lar mahkemelik oldu". Yerel Haber. 2010-10-09.
- Gürcanlı, Zeynep (March 16, 2017). "CHP'li Gürsel Tekin'den metrobüs hatırlatması" [A metrobus reminder from CHP's Gürsel Tekin]. www.sozcu.com.tr (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-08-20.
- "Mülkiye Müfettişleri İETT için suç duyurusunda bulundular". Memurlar.Net (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-08-20.
- "İETT - İstanbul Elektrik Tramvay ve Tünel İşletmeleri Genel Müdürlügü" (in Turkish). Retrieved 2013-01-24.
- "Metrobüs Hatları" (in Turkish). İETT. Retrieved 2014-08-27.
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