EghtesadOnline: Tehran Municipality is using revenues from traffic schemes for financing the capital’s subway network expansion.
The municipality’s Transportation and Traffic Organization chief said that since the beginning of the current fiscal year (March 21), 185 billion rials ($1.4 million) from the revenues of traffic schemes have been allotted to the city's subway projects.
According to Mohsen Pourseyyed-Aqaei, TM is paying his share to boost subway construction in the metropolis and the new form of investment in these projects will lead to more sustainable development, Financial Tribune reported.
The TTO chief said detailed reports on TM’s revenues from traffic schemes currently implemented in Tehran and its expenditure will soon be posted on the municipality’s website, ISNA reported.
Currently, three traffic schemes are underway in the capital, including Air Pollution Reduction, Air Pollution Control and the so-called Traffic Scheme. Each enforces different rules and restrictions on vehicles plying the capital’s streets to ease air pollution and traffic congestions, and fines drivers guilty of violating these rules.
Tehran’s subway network stretches over 220 kilometers and comprises seven lines (1 to 7) with nearly 120 stations. Line 6 and 7 are still under construction.
Three new lines (8 to 10) are also being mapped for areas lacking access to subway lines.
According to the latest data released by Tehran Urban and Suburban Railway Company, 1,230 subway cars, or 157 trains, are currently operating in the capital's metro network.
However, Tehran Mayor Pirouz Hanachi says the network needs at least 2,000 new cars and shorter headway to reach its maximum transport capacity.
"The headway now ranges from 2 to 15 minutes, which should decline to 2 minutes," he said.
In late June, a multilateral contract was signed to involve domestic knowledge-based companies in the production of rolling stock.
As per the contract, which is aimed at increasing the share of domestic companies in Tehran’s subway development, 420 subway cars will be produced within five years.
In addition, another agreement was signed in January by TM, Beijing Rail Transit Technology Equipment Group Company and the local Pars Wagon Company in Markazi Province to add 367 subway cars to the capital’s metro network.
The cars are to be delivered by 2022 and each wagon will cost $976,000, Metro.tehran.ir reported. The whole project is estimated to cost $366.9 million.
In late June, 70 complete knock-down subway cars were released from customs which, according to Hanachi, would be immediately hooked to the capital’s subway network after 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 at the time.
Additionally, the Interior Ministry is also working to supply 600 cars to the subway network, he added without elaborating.
Hanachi said the share of subway in Tehran’s public transportation network is 16%. TM is working to increase the share of other eco-friendly means of transportation in the growing capital, one of which is biking.
According to Hanachi, the share of biking is less than 0.5% in Tehran's transportation, which should rise to 1.5% in five years.
Bikes in Tehran
In a related initiative to promote biking as a cleaner mode of transportation, TM has implemented several measures that have been welcomed by the people.
The move to promote biking in Iran’s major cities was launched about two years ago. To encourage bicycles as a mode of transportation in Tehran, Mashhad and Yazd, a project was launched to set up bike-lending centers and provide bicycles in educational centers and travel zones.
In Tehran, 50 terminals were set up across the city, mostly in crowded downtown areas and near subway stations and tourist sites, to offer a total of 7,000 gearless bicycles. The terminals are still situated at several main city squares, including Tohid, Enqelab and Azadi.
In addition, TM launched four bike lanes in the capital's districts 6 and 7, along Taleqani, Karimkhan, Iranshahr and Mofatteh streets in the center of the city.
Late last week in a meeting with provincial mayors, Hanachi said, "Negotiations are underway with domestic banks to arrange cheap loans for the public to help them purchase bicycles."
Earlier in March, Tehran Municipality said it will invest 170 billion rials ($1.3 million) to develop biking facilities.
The fund will be spent on promoting biking, establishing new bicycle lanes and renovating the existing lanes.