EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani is to inaugurate Hashtgerd Subway Station in Alborz Province on Tuesday.
Habibollah Taherkhani, a deputy roads minister, said the line has undergone all the trials, its equipment have been examined and all its shortcomings have been addressed, ISNA reported.
"The station is ready to offer services," Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
Hashtgerd Subway Station will be linked with Golshahr Metro Station in Karaj (about 26 kilometers away)—the last station of Tehran Metro’s Line 5.
The construction of Hashtgerd Station was started in July 2018 by Hashtgerd New Town Construction Company.
“About 10 trillion rials [$75.7 million] have so far been injected into the project,” Taherkhani said, adding that two more stations along its route are yet to be constructed.
The officials said the new section has the capacity to transport 250,000 passengers per day.
Considering the increasing traffic congestion and air pollution in Karaj and its satellite cities, the line can help alleviate both.
However, the station’s imminent inauguration has been recently criticized by Tehran City Council Chairman Mohsen Hashemi.
"Line 5 of Tehran Metro was designed to reach Hashtgerd from the very first day, but a new station requires government support because Tehran Municipality is already pressured by lack of financial resources," he said.
Hashemi explained that it would be better if the power supply, signaling management and funds for maintenance and protection of the line were discussed with Tehran City Council and state bodies before its opening.
This is while Hashtgerd station and its linkup with Golshahr were ready to come on stream in early September, when neither Hashemi nor other urban officials voiced such concerns. Mismanagement and planning inconsistency had delayed the opening.
Line 5 was launched in 1998, by linking Tehran’s Sadeqieh Station to Karaj Station. Later, the line was extended to Golshahr.
Line 5 is currently 41 kilometers long with 11 stations.
Currently, the capital city's subway stretches over 220 kilometers and comprises seven lines (1 to 7) with nearly 120 stations. Lines 6 and 7 are yet to become fully operational.
As part of efforts to further develop Tehran’s subway network, Tehran Municipality is in talks with domestic producers to add 100 elevators to the operating and under-construction stations.
Tehran Mayor Pirouz Hanachi said earlier in October TM signed a deal for purchasing 40 elevators, which will soon be installed. The new elevators will ensure that the movement of passengers inside subway stations is convenient.
"The mere inauguration of a station does not mean it is fully equipped. Installing additional items might need more time and money," he added.
Financial hardships and international curbs imposed by US sanctions have curbed the streamlining of subway stations.
In another move, according to the Persian newspaper Hamshahri, the government intends to use the National Development Fund to help Tehran Municipality buy 630 subway cars.
The arrangement was announced on Wednesday when Es’haq Jahangiri, first vice president, and Hashemi discussed ways of expanding the capital’s public transportation network.
Officials say the government will transfer the budget as soon as experts estimate the price and select the supplier companies.
According to TM, 1,000 railcars are currently operating in the capital's subway system, 30% of which need to be upgraded.
Hanachi told reporters that since Nov. 15—when the government rationed and tripled fuel prices—authorities have stressed that the revenue saved will be spent on people's welfare in different areas, one of which is public transportation.
He called on government bodies to fulfill their promise and support Tehran Municipality in upgrading the dilapidated bus fleet and equipping the subway system.
Hanachi emphasized that TM is doing its best to provide citizens with standard and efficient means of transportation and called for the public's sympathy and patience.
Transportation Development Plans
In an ambitious initiative to provide Tehran’s residents with extensive and decent transportation services, TM mapped four additional lines for Tehran Subway in collaboration with a French engineering and consulting group, and the Iranian engineering group Gueno.
The new lines (8 to 11) have been designed to cover areas not covered by the Tehran Metro network.
The C-shape Line 8 is to stretch over 37 kilometers starting from the southeast, turning around the city center as a curve and turning back to the northeast with a total of 35 stations.
When constructed, Line 9 will be 46 km long with 39 stations. The line will cover a larger area starting from the west at Line 5's Chitgar Station. It then travels up north and goes toward the east to reach Imam Ali Highway. The line continues southward and ends at Dolatabad Station on Line 6.
Line 10 is the uppermost path, starting from Vardavard Station on Tehran-Karaj Line 5. It travels 41 kilometers across the northern part of the city with 34 stations, before reaching northeast to Qanat-e Kosar.
Finally, Line 11, which is comparatively short, will stretch over 26 kilometers, starting from Chitgar Station on Line 5 and linking it to the southeastern flank of Tehran with 17 stations.
All the four new lines will have numerous intersections with the already operating lines.