January 21, 2011

Sustainable Transport Award cities: Tehran

From public bike systems to BRT to integrated mass transit solutions – all of the 2011 Sustainable Transport Award-nominated cities are exemplars in implementing integrated transport solutions. Over the next week, we will cover profiles of the nominated cities – Guangzhou, León, Lima, Nantes, Tehran – culminating in the presentation of the Sustainable Transport Award on January 24 at Transportation Research Board conference in Washington D.C.



Iran’s capital city Tehran, with a population 8 million, stands out as a model city in the region for its aggressive policy to expand and implement new mass transit options. The city has developed a comprehensive public transport policy, which is embedded into the city’s vision of improving quality of life by having integrated, available, safe, easy, comfortable and clean transportation system, delivered within limited resources.

By 2009, Tehran had 159 kilometers of urban railway.  By 2010, an additional 77 kilometers were added, increasing annual passenger trips by 17 million for a total of 459 million trips per year made on the rail system.

In addition to its urban rail system,  Tehran has been implementing bus rapid transit as a complement to the public transit network beginning in 2007.  Currently, the BRT network is 91 kilometers long and carries 1.4 million passengers a day.  In 2009, the city expanded the network by 17.5 kilometers and in 2010 by 21.5 km.  In 2010, the city debuted an integrated electronic fare system for the metro and public bus services.  It is beginning now to be implemented in the private buses.

On the two most recent BRT lines to open, the number of people using public transport increased by 31% and 35% respectively and passengers received a 24% and 42% time savings respectively on their trips than from what they were using before.


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