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EghtesadOnline: From adding new vehicles to the public bus fleet to purchasing new wagons for the subway, urban managers across Iran are taking measures for tackling air pollution and facilitating the daily commute of citizens.

The capital Tehran and its neighboring cities of Qom and Karaj have recently been at the forefront of upgrading urban transportation system.

A new electric bus line will soon be launched in Tehran’s District 12, connecting Shoush to Rah-Ahan Square in the eastern part of the city, Tasnim News Agency reported.

According to Peiman Sanandaji, the head of Tehran Bus Company, 15 electric buses have been refitted to return to resume service after undergoing a complete overhaul, according to Financial Tribune.

"The required infrastructures, including signage and power cables, are being prepared," he said.

The zero-emission vehicles will not only ease the traffic burden in the overcrowded District 12, but will also help curb air pollution in the sprawling capital.



Progress in Qom 

In Qom, bus transport fleet is being upgraded and expanded as 104 new buses have been recently purchased by the city's municipality, half of which has been added to the city’s transport system, Bahram Sarmast, Qom's governor general, said.

According to Sarmast, 50 of these buses have become operational while "the remaining 54 are currently awaiting permits". 

Further information on the manufacturer and the price of new buses was not available.

Qom Municipality also reports that since 2017, nearly 100 new buses have been added to the bus transport fleet of the city. 

At present, 300 buses are operating in the city's transport fleet, 170 of which are dilapidated.



Alborz Subway

Municipality officials in the metropolis of Karaj, the provincial center of Alborz, are optimistic about the completion of a subway project, which is progressing slowly.

Karaj Mayor Ali Kamalizadeh told IMNA that as per the new deal, 136 new subway cars have been purchased and arrangements are being made to buy 16 more wagons.

The construction of the tunnels is advancing rapidly, he added, noting that in case adequate financial support is received, Line 2 of the subway will be launched partially within two years. 

He added that in the last fiscal year (ended March 20, 2019), 2.5 trillion rials ($21.3 million) of participatory bonds were sold to help purchase the wagons. Another 4 trillion rials ($34.1 million) of bonds have also been sold since the beginning of the current fiscal year. 

“Hopefully, a number of Line 2 stations of Karaj subway will become operational within two years,” Kamalizadeh said. 



Belated Project

The Karaj subway project was launched in 2006. A 102-km network of five lines, which will be connected to the Tehran-Karaj subway, has been planned.

Hossein Ardakani, a member of Karaj City Council, had earlier said over 500 workers using 420 pieces of heavy machinery are working round-the-clock on the project.

Mohammad Rostami, the project’s executive manager, told ISNA last October that since 2007, close to 5 billion rials ($42,735) have been spent monthly on the project—660 billion rials ($5.6 million) so far.

However, so far only 15 kilometers of the tunnels have been dug and the project has made little progress over the past 13 years, mainly because of the lack of will among urban officials and inadequate funding.

The Alborz subway project is funded through several sources, including revenues from Karaj Municipality, government budget and sale of bonds.


Qom Iran Tehran air pollution wagons public transportation Subway public bus fleet