EghtesadOnline: The subway network in the capital city of Tehran will have at least eight more stations by the end of the current Iranian year (March 2022), the head of Tehran Metro Company said.
Ali Emam added that the new stations would come on stream in Line 3, 6 and 7, ISNA reported.
“We are planning to complete tunneling and railroad infrastructure in the southern flank of Line 6, which runs 7.5 kilometers up to Shah Abdolazim Shrine Station,” he said.
The official noted that based on the line’s extension design, the path will then link up with Shahr-e Rey Station in the south of Line 1.
Line 6 is the longest route in the subway network, which will stretch over 38 km with 27 stations upon completion. It connects Shahr-e Rey to the famed Sulaqan rural district in the northwest.
“The other project to become operational by August is the northern extension of Line 3. The line is planned to continue its path toward the west, making a loop with Line 1 at Tajrish Station. Besides the connection, several inactive stations in the line will also be completed,” he said.
Tehran Metro’s Line 3, which extends over 38 km from Shahrak-e Qaem in the northeast to Azadegan in the southwest, is a vital route as it crosses busy parts of the capital and helps alleviate traffic problems. Once fully operational, the line will have 26 stations.
In addition to the completion of new stations, Emam added that five operating stations will open second entrances to ease public access.
The official said Tehran Metro has also placed the completion of Line 7 on the current year’s agenda.
According to Emam, the construction of 5 kilometers of the northwestern flank of Line 7, connecting two stations: Islamic Azad University Science and Research Branch and North Jannatabad, and a subway terminal in the far north will start soon.
The subway terminal will help reduce the headway, ease parking problems and help renovate the wagons.
Line 7 was partially opened in June 2017 by Tehran's former mayor, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, during his 2017 presidential election campaign.
The line’s premature launch was strongly criticized by public transport experts and urban planners, because it disregarded safety rules and protocols.
Tehran Mayor Pirouz Hanachi now says all safety standards have been observed.
Stretching over 253 kilometers across the capital, Tehran Metro comprises 130 operating stations.
Tehran Metro’s Report Sheet
According to Tehran Municipality’s recent report, Tehran Metro Company has completed 40 kilometers of subway tunnels, built 14 new station entrances and five power stations, installed 62 elevators, 280 escalators and 78 ventilation systems, and added 133 subway cars to the network since 2017 when the President Hassan Rouhani began his second tenure.
The report states that three sources have contributed 67 trillion rials ($268 million) to Tehran Metro’s construction since November 2017. The first is the government's budget allocation of 2.46 trillion rials ($9.84 million).
Tehran Municipality, which has invested 43.8 trillion rials ($175.2 million) in the subway over the last four years, is the company's next financial source.
According to the report, 33.6 trillion rials ($134.4 million) of the authorized funds were spent on the subway project, with the rest being used to cover the company's debts and other expenses.
The issuance of participatory bonds has also brought in 20.8 trillion rials ($83.2 million) for Tehran’s subway.
The harsh US sanctions against Iran, which have been in place since the summer of 2018, and the growing prices of imported goods should be considered when comparing achievements and budget expenditures.
Officials are planning new subway development projects, according to the head of Tehran City Council’s Transportation Commission, but Tehran’s subway network needs 2 quadrillion rials ($8 billion) for the construction of incomplete lines, purchase of train cars and standardization of equipment.
Mohammad Alikhani added that due to the negative effects of US sanctions reimposed in the summer of 2018, Iran’s rial is losing value against hard currencies, making it a tough task to expand and renew the ailing public transportation in Tehran.
Since the US reimposed sanctions against Iran, the rial has lost 70% of its value against the greenback over the past year.
On Monday, the US dollar was traded at 250,000 rials in Tehran while it hardly fetched 42,000 rials in March 2018.
“A train wagon cost 50 billion rials a couple of years ago, but now its price has reached 200 billion rials, which Tehran Municipality cannot afford,” Alikhani said.
Speaking to reporters, Mohsen Hashemi, the head of TCC, expressed disquiet over Tehran subway’s shortfalls.
“While the subway lines have been extended around the city by 80 kilometers in the past several years, not enough trains have been added to the metro’s network,” he added.
Hashemi noted that for each kilometer of the subway, there was 1.1 train wagons.
“Today, the figure has fallen by 30%, which means that for each kilometer of the operating subway line, there are 0.8 train cars,” he said.
Hence, Tehran Metro’s managers need to address the shortfalls at the earliest to help people observe the health protocols for combating Covid-19.