Urban transport: the Metro reaches a good speed to decongest the cities

transporte urbano en Iran

The municipal governments of the major cities have included in the infrastructure plan the construction of new metro systems, as well as the expansion of those already exis- ting, such as the one from Tehran, adding an extra kilometers.

Iran has a population of 79 million inhabitants, mostly concentrated in large cities like Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan, Tabriz and Shiraz. As in many countries, efficient and modern solutions are currently being sought for traffic congestion, pollution and constant increase of residents in urban centers and peripheral areas.

Millions of people are daily traveling between their homes and workplaces, whether inside or outside these cities, using public or private transport means. The influx of people during rush hour in the morning and afternoon causes traffic jams lasting for hours on the city’s streets and highways flowing in and out of them, resulting in heavy air pollution and a fuel consumption increase, not to mention the inevitable waste of time.

The municipal governments of the major cities have included in the infrastructure plan the construction of new metro systems, as well as the expansion of those already existing, such as the one from Tehran, adding an extra kilometers.

 Tehran’s Metro

The capital of Iran, Tehran, has 13 million people. The metro, opened in 1999, is a key transport means for displacements. Therefore, this network is to be extended in order to decongest the city. There are currently four operating lines, with 95 stations and standard track gauge, which transport three million passengers per day, plus an additional regional railway. In addition, the construction of two new sections started ten years ago.

The investment plans in this network aim to reach 430 kilometers in 2028 and to have nine lines. The authorities of the Municipality of Tehran also study a light railway.

  1. Mashhad’s Metro

This network is the second most important in the country. Its construction began in 1999, and two years later the L1 was being inaugurated. It serves the City of Mashhad, with 5.2 million inhabitants, in the Razavi Khorasan province. The operator is Mashhad Urban Railway and the system is also known as “Mashhad Light Rail” and “Mashhad Urban Rail”. It currently transports 17,000 passengers / hour in each direction. The progress continues and new sections are being gradually incorporated. Thus, in February 2016, the L1 connection to the city’s international airport was officially inaugurated, while on February 20th 2017, an eight-kilometer section was opened from Shohada to Kashfrood, belonging to the second line, which is still under construction.

After conducting a thorough analysis of the city’s growing transportation needs, the “Mashhad Master Plan of Transportation in 2021” was approved. This is a program that includes five priority projects. On one hand, the expansion of L1 by 24 kilometers, from the Southeast to the West. In addition to four new lines: L2, L3, L4 and L5. Line 2, from Koohsangi to Tabarsi, will have 13 stations and 14.3 km, of which 14 will be located underground. This branch will be connected to lines 1, 3 and 4. Pars Metro Sazan Contracting is in charge of the consulting and engineering phase.

For its part, line 3 will have 28.5 kilometers and 24 stations, while L4 will have a route of 17.5 kilometers and 15 stops. L5, which will be a monorail, joins them.

  1. Shiraz Metro

The Shiraz metro, the capital of the province of Fars, is another of the most relevant urban projects. Its construction started in 2001 being in charge of the Shiraz Urban Railway Organization. The first phase of Line 1, which has 10.5 kilometers from Ehsan in the Northern Shiraz to Namazi in the central part of the city, entered into commercial operation in October 2014. On February 13th 2016, new stations such as the one from Motahari were opened to the public.

Currently, its expansion is still ongoing aiming to extend the Namazi line to Gol-e-Sorkh Square near the airport. Thus a total length of 24.5 kilometers would be achieved. In addition, a second line, the L2, of 10 kilometers, which will connect with the first one in the Plaza Imam Hosein is in progress. There are also plans to build four more lines and to reach a length of 88 kilometers. This program includes a monorail (Line 10) that will have a route of 10 kilometers.

  1. Tabriz Metro

The first metro line of the City of Tabriz, having 16 kilometers and 18 stations, was completed in 2016. Tabriz Urban Railway Organization (TURO) plans to expand this system with the construction of new branches so as to consist of four lines.

  1. Isfahan Metro

The City of Isfahan is the fifth in the country that has a two-line review metro system. The first phase of the L1 was inaugurated from Shohada, in the center of the City of Qods in October 2015. This branch has 12.5 km and 15 stations, all being located underground. In turn, the Line 2 will have 43 km (0.7 km located underground and 9.6 km overhead) with 13 stations. It is also proposed to construct two lines from East to West.

  1. Ahvaz Metro

This network, under construction and in charge of Ahvaz urban railway, will have 23 kilometers and 24 stations.