EghtesadOnline: Tehran Metro’s extension to Eslamshahr, a working district in the southwest, requires 13 trillion rials ($52 million), one of the county’s municipal officials said.
According to Reza Qasemi, 3.6 kilometers of tunneling for the Eslamshhar subway have been completed in the last 18 months, costing approximately 2 trillion rials ($8 million), IMNA reported.
“The progress represents 35% of the construction,” the official said, adding that more funds should be injected to expedite the project.
Qasemi noted that the government has allocated approximately 3.5 trillion rials ($14 million) to the subway project in the 2021-22 budget bill, so the construction is expected to be completed in at least three years.
According to Mohsen Hamidi, the caretaker of Eslamshahr Municipality, the number of daily urban travels in the county exceeds 250,000 and the nearest subway station is 17 kilometers from Eslamshahr's central area.
“This has made daily travel a difficult task for the people who work or study in faraway parts of the overcrowded province. The opening of the metro station, which connects the region to the capital's subway system, would relieve a significant amount of traffic congestion in Eslamshahr,” he added.
The official noted that the project extends Line 3 of Tehran subway by another 15 km from Azadegan Junction to the southwest and calls for building two new stations, one at Chahardangeh and the other at central Eslamshahr.
Hamidi stressed that the subway project will help reduce the county’s air pollution and ease traffic jams it has been struggling with for years.
“In the long run, such major projects will help Eslamshahr attract urban development investors,” he said, noting that the nerve-racking traffic and the permanent smog in Eslamshahr have worsened.
Finance and the implementation of extension project, proposed in 2010, was assigned to Tehran Municipality.
While within Tehran Province, Eslamshahr is located outside the borders of Tehran City. According to the municipality's rules and regulations, TM is not allowed to invest in development projects outside the city of Tehran. Therefore, although feasibility studies were carried out in 2010, the project was suspended.
Subway construction costs vary in different countries, depending on land value, construction costs and raw material prices.
For instance, Madrid's Metrosur line is 41 km long with 28 stations. It was completed in four years for about $5 8million per kilometer. Singapore’s Circle Line runs 35 km with 28 stations and cost $4.8 billion, or $130 million/km.
In Iran, subway construction averages $15.8 million per kilometer.
Stretching over 253 kilometers across the capital, Tehran Metro comprises seven lines (Line 1 to 7) and 130 operating stations.
Transportation, Traffic and Air Pollution
Efficient public transportation is pivotal to curbing traffic and air pollution.
Tehran Mayor Pirouz Hanachi says, "Expanding the subway is key to curbing air pollution and safeguarding public wellbeing."
Traffic in Tehran and its satellite cities has become torturous, particularly during rush hours. Population growth, poor public transportation and the large-scale use of private vehicles has created conditions not many can bear and families are slowly but steadily moving out and looking for home and work in other cities.
The bad pollution becomes worse in winter when the freezing temperature and air pollution make living and working a challenging enterprise.
However, it gives some relief to see that subway commute has increased significantly in recent years and four million people are currently using the trains every day. Tehran Municipality expects the number to climb by a massive 25% after subway lines 6 and 7 are up and running.
But this is definitely not enough for Tehran where, according to statistics, over 15 million people commute every day, many from the surrounding cities and towns.
Projects like expansion of the subway to downtown Eslamshahr are expected to make life easier for the millions who use public transport because it’s cheaper, faster and cleaner.