ISTANBUL 2020: FIRST METRO OPENS ON ASIAN SIDE
Istanbul’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games has passed another historic milestone as the first metro line on the Asian side of Istanbul was officially inaugurated yesterday by Turkish Prime Minister Mr Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Mayor of Istanbul Mr Kadir Topbaş.
The long awaited ‘Line M4’ links Kadiköy station, near to the proposed Istanbul 2020 ‘Port Cluster’ of Olympic venues, with Kartal 22km further south. The new line has a capacity of 70,000 passengers per hour per direction.
Commenting on the historic inauguration, Istanbul 2020 bid leader, Hasan Arat, said:
“This Metro opening reflects the pledge made in the Istanbul 2020 application file that the Istanbul municipality aims to connect its citizens with a world-class, fully modernised transport network. $1.2 billion a year is being spent on improvements to Istanbul’s transport infrastructure that will help guarantee average journey times for Olympic athletes of just 20 minutes in 2020.
“This new line will also alleviate traffic congestion on the Asian side and improve the comfort and journey time of hundreds of thousands of spectators attending sports events at our proposed iconic Olympic venues on the Bosporus.”
The new line will initially carry around 700,000 passengers per day and will result in the removal of 572 busses and 1,227 mini-busses and thousands of cars from daily traffic. The line will result in an annual saving of 1.1 billion TL in fuel, maintenance, and road renovation expenses.
Ugur Erdener, IOC Member and President of the NOC of Turkey said:
“The success of London 2012 was due, in part, to an efficient integrated public transport network for spectators, the Olympic family as well as the host city residents. It is exciting to think that this new Line M4 could well be carrying Olympic passengers for Turkey’s first ever Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.”
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