EghtesadOnline: The recent subway network expansion in Tabriz and the holy city of Mashhad are expected to help curb air pollution and ease traffic congestion, making life easier for the citizens of these metropolises.
Since the launch of the first metro line about 14 years ago in Tabriz, East Azarbaijan Province, its current expansion will help people take the tube from the southeast to the west of the city, according to Financial Tribune.
Its urban managers have announced that the unfinished subway Line 1 of Tabriz Metro is going to become fully operational on Thursday, ISNA reported.
According to municipal bodies, Line 1 starts from El Goli Square in the southeast of Tabriz, travels 17.2 kilometers to the west with 18 stations and reaches Laleh Street, a historical neighborhood in the city’s southwest.
The line’s construction was designed in three phases. The first phase became operational with four stations in September 2015 connecting El Goli Square in the southeast to Shahriar Station in the east. A total of 2.5 trillion rials ($18.5 million) were invested in the project's Phase 1.
The second phase came on stream in February 2016, extending the line to Sa'at Square Station in the city center.
Tabriz Metro Map
With five lines, including four urban and one intercity line, Tabriz Metro is to stretch 100 kilometers throughout the city with 70 stations.
Starting from west in Qaramalik Neighborhood, Line 2 is to reach an exhibition center in the east of Tabriz after crossing 22.4 kilometers and 20 stations.
Line 3, which is to extend 15 kilometers from Tabriz International Airport in the northwest to Tabriz Central Bus Terminal in the south, will have 14 stations.
And finally, the last metro line, Line 4 is to be a 15.4-kilometer tramway linking Azarbaijan Square in northwest to Pasdaran Highway in northeast with 18 stations.
The intercity tramway Line 5 will connect the southwestern tail of Line 1 to Sahand City in Osku County. The line will be about 30 kilometers long, running toward its destination with no stations along the way.
Planning for the next step of work on Tabriz metro’s network, urban managers reached an agreement with the Plan and Budget Organization in September 2019 to receive 2 trillion rials ($14.8 million) for starting the construction of Line 2 in the next Iranian year (starting March 20).
This is in addition to the allocation of 1 trillion rials ($7.4 million) for the project agreed to by the government.
Similar to Line 1, the construction of Line 2 will be phased; the approved budget funds will only be spent on the first phase—the first 10 kilometers starting from Qaramalik Neighborhood.
Davoud Behboudi, the head of provincial Plan and Budget Organization, had earlier told that under normal circumstances, the construction of each kilometer of subway line with full technical and security equipment costs about 4 trillion rials ($29.6 million).
Therefore, the expansion of subway construction in the city will only happen, if the budget allocation happens soon, he added.
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.
The subway project in the holy city of Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi Province, is also progressing rapidly.
According to Mohammad Reza Heidari, the head of Mashhad City Council, excavation work on 8.5 kilometers of the 28.5-km-long Mashhad Metro’s Line 3 have been completed.
"The line will become partly operational in two years," he added.
The metro map published by Mashhad Municipality shows Line 3 will eventually have 24 stations stretching all the way from the northwest in Amirieh Boulevard to the southwest in Abouzar district.
Of the four lines (lines 1 to 4) mapped for Mashhad's subway network, lines 1 and 2 are fully operational.
Line 1, with a length of 24 km and 24 stations, was launched in February 2011 and is used by about 120,000 commuters every day. The line connects the southeast of the city to the northwest.
Line 2 stretches 14.5 kilometers linking east to west of the city with 12 stations.
Set to connect east to north of the city, Line 4 will be 17.5 kilometers long. Officials say the line’s construction will commence in the coming summer.