A Solution That Scales
Key pollutants that Istanbul's Metrobus removes from the air each year include
of carbon monoxide.
of nitrogen oxide, a compound that causes smog, acid rain, global warming, and a variety of health complications like emphysema and bronchitis.
of fine particulate matter, known to cause asthma, chronic bronchitis, and lung disease.
of hydrocarbons, which are associated with smog, cancer, and other health problems.
EMBARQ first introduced Istanbul officials to the concept of bus rapid transit in 2004, with hopes of improving mobility and accessibility on both sides of the Bosphorus.
With 64 million vehicles crossing it in 2005, the Bosphorus Bridge had become a major bottleneck for commuters traveling between Europe and Asia.
To ease traffic, EMBARQ recommended building a BRT corridor across the bridge. In March 2009, EMBARQ’s ideas turned to action when the historic mega-city unveiled the world's first inter-continental BRT line.
The 11-kilometer route is an extension of Istanbul’s highly successful Metrobus corridor, which opened in September 2007.
The city government completed the entire project in just 77 days, exemplifying the speed at which successful bus rapid transit projects can be implemented.
Crossing the bridge by car takes as long as three hours. Thanks to the recent expansion, commuters can now crossover between continents in about 30 minutes with fairly easy access to metro and other bus services once they reach the commercial heart of Istanbul.
kilometers in length
passengers per day
Source: IETT, 2009.
The Need for Change
Zeynep and Ziynet are sisters who live in Sultanbeyli, a neighborhood of 1 million residents on the Asian side of Istanbul. Their home is situated next to the Trans-European Motorway, one of the biggest expressways in the city.
The sisters commute an average of 5.5 hours each day—7 hours if the traffic is particularly bad. The bus they take is often so crowded that its doors break.
Generally happy with their lives, their biggest resentment is toward private cars owners who harass the buses in traffic. “It’s 200 people versus one,” they say. When asked what they would do to fix Istanbul’s traffic, Zeynep says without
hesitation, “It seems to me it would help if the buses could have their own lane.”