EghtesadOnline: Private investors have expressed willingness to fund the extension of Tehran Metro to District 22 in the western flank of the capital.
Early this week, Mohsen Pourseyyed-Aqaei, managing director of Transportation and Traffic Organization of Tehran Municipality, met Ali Nozarpour, the mayor of District 22, and Ali Emam, Tehran Metro’s CEO, and a group of private investors.
During the meeting, a newly-mapped subway extension, Line 10, which is to cross District 22, was reviewed. The investors agreed to financially support the construction of the subway line after preliminary studies are conducted and the plan is finalized, Hamshahri Online reported.
According to the map, Line 10 will stretch over 41 kilometers along the northern part of Tehran and partly cross District 22, Financial Tribune reported.
“The line will have 24 stations, nine of which will be located in the district,” Pourseyyed-Aqaei said.
"Line 10 will start from Babaei Highway in the northeast of the capital and end at Vardavard Station on Line 5. The line will pass through the stations of lines 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7."
Tehran’s District 22 covers around 5,500 hectares in the western part of the capital and includes residential, recreational and tourism facilities.
"As urban development increases in the area, traffic congestion will definitely grow. So, in addition to developing the urban transport fleet in the region, the establishment of a subway line to ease road traffic will be necessary," he said.
When the mapping is approved by the High Council for Traffic, the construction project will be launched in January 2020.
Tehran’s subway network comprises seven lines (1 to 7) with nearly 100 stations. Line 6 and 7 are still under construction.
The other newly-introduced lines 8 and 9 are still in the design stage and their details have not been announced yet.
Officials say people in the capital's satellite cities will soon have access to Tehran Metro services, as the capital's subway network expands.
According to Pourseyyed-Aqaei, expanding the public transportation network by constructing new subway lines is high on the municipality’s agenda.
However, the improvement of conditions will take time, perhaps years. In the meantime, commuters have to make do with what they have and hope things improve with responsible management and strict oversight of spending policies.
Addressing the meeting, Pourseyyed-Aqaei clarified that under normal circumstances, the construction of each kilometer of subway line with full technical and security equipment costs about 4.5 trillion rials ($33.3 million).
Subway construction costs vary in different countries, depending on land value, construction costs and equipment prices.
For instance, the completion of Madrid’s Metrosur line, which is 41 km long and has 28 stations, took four years and cost $58 million per km.
Singapore’s Circle Line runs 35 kilometers with 28 stations and cost $4.8 billion, or $130 million per kilometer.
More Subway Cars
The completion of the under-construction lines 6 and 7 is progressing rapidly.
According to Tehran Mayor Pirouz Hanachi, 70 complete knock-down subway cars have been recently released from customs and they will be immediately hooked to the capital’s subway network after their assembly.
"The new cars, which will form 10 complete trains, will be employed in the partly operating lines 6 and 7, which currently have a long headway time between trains," Hanachi told Tasnim News Agency.
All the trains will be added to the subway network by October, he added.
Hanachi said the share of subway in Tehran’s public transportation network is 16%.
"The network needs more trains and shorter headway to reach its maximum transport capacity," he said, adding that the headway now ranges from 2 to 15 minutes, which should reduce to 2 minutes.
Despite facing challenges, the development of public transportation, especially the subway network, is the best solution for curbing the growing traffic and air pollution in metropolises like Tehran.