Metro Rio, Rio de Janeiro
Metro Rio, Rio de Janeiro
The driverless automated metro line, scheduled to come into service by the end of 2016 in Istanbul, will become a Turkey first of its kind.

The Üsküdar-Ümraniye-Çekmeköy-Sancaktepe line will be the second metro line on the Anatolian side of Istanbul and will mark another first by incorporating ‘automated platform gates’.

The automated platform gates are chest-height sliding doors that prevent passengers from falling off the platform edge onto the railway tracks. These platform gates slide open and close simultaneously with the train’s doors.

Announcing the news on Tuesday, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality stated that the travel time between the Üsküdar and Sancaktepe districts will be decreased to 24 minutes.

As the metro will have no driver, passengers will be able to sit in driver’s compartment and watch the train’s journey throughout the 2,750 meter-long tunel.

The station and wagons will be under 24-hour surveillance.

The driverless metro line will be able to reach speeds up to 90 kilometers per hour and will be operated from a command center that will see the operation of the 16-station line covering 20 kilometers.

The 126-wagon train’s stops will be: Üsküdar, Fıstıkağacı, Bağlarbaşı, Altunizade, Kısıklı, Libadiye, Çarşı, Ümraniye, İnkılap Mahallesi, Çakmak, Ihlamurkuyu, Altınşehir, Lise, Dudullu, Toplu Konutlar, Çekmeköy and Sancaktepe.

The Üsküdar-Sancaktepe metro line’s construction is continuing 24 hours non-stop, with 2,430 personnel working to complete 11 stations in the first stage.

When the construction is finished passengers will be able to travel from Çekmeköy-Sancaktepe to Üsküdar in 24, to Kartal in 59, Yenikapı in 36, Taksim in 44, Hacıosman in 68, the Atatürk International Airport in 68 and the Olympic Stadium in 78 minutes.

The world’s longest driverless train route is in Dubai at 80 kilometers and many countries have driverless train lines, although a driver is added occasionally in some countries for fear of possible failures in the system.

istanbulkartTransportations cards, which many Istanbul residents currently use to travel around the city, will soon also be used as debit cards for everyday purchases, according to a recent Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) regulation.

The transport card Istanbul residents currently use, which is publicly dubbed the “Istanbulkart,” will also be used for electronic payment activities starting from 2016 as a debit card which can be used in cafes, restaurants, shopping malls and any other urban activities.

The regulation was passed at the İBB assembly in the monthly municipality meeting held in early November.

Around 19 million Istanbulkarts have been delivered so far, with a total of 180,000 transactions recorded on average monthly. Istanbulkarts can currently be used in Istanbul’s urban and suburban trains run by the Turkish State Railways (TCDD), Istanbul’s inner-city sea buses and ferries, public transit buses, metros, trams and other transportation means owned by the Istanbul Electric Tram and Tunnel Company (İETT), a private company which operates mass transit in Istanbul.

The technical work to convert the Istanbulkarts was reported to be ongoing and the practice is expected to be launched in early 2016.

“It’s not going be a credit card, but a wallet. It will be used everywhere like money,” Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş recently said.

The İBB authorized the Municipal Data Processing Corporation of Istanbul (BELBİM) Electronic Money and Payment Services Company for 15 years in exchange for $1.5 million, excluding taxes.

The new cards will also be used in conjunction with İSPARK, an İBB subsidiary providing parking services throughout the metropolis.

Also during the İBB’s monthly meeting, the municipality passed another regulation which placed the management of taxi and minibus stations, as well as that of shared taxis, in Istanbul under İSPARK.

The goal of the regulation is saving time and fuel, while also preventing long traffic jams in the city, according to the regulation.

The project was briefly tested when İSPARK constructed 30 minibus stations and the result was reported to yield positive results in removing vehicles from traffic flow.

Also within the project around 18,000 taxis will be centrally controlled by a recently founded call center.

Opened with a glorious ceremony in 1890 in order to connect the Ottoman Empire to the rest of the world, the Istanbul Sirkeci Train Terminal Station will be converted into a museum. The protocol concerning the transformation of the station into the Istanbul City Museum and Railway Museum has been approved by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) City Council.

The restoration, maintenance and repair work of the station, which is regarded as an artifact for its architectural features, will be undertaken by the IBB. The metropolitan municipality had been searching for a place to display Istanbul’s special collections to domestic and international tourists for a while, so they applied to the State Railways of the Turkish Republic (TCDD) asking to allocate the Sirkeci Terminal Station to them. Agreeing with the metropolitan municipality’s request, the TCDD approved the handing over of the historical station to be used as a museum. The historical building, which will serve as a joint museum for both establishments, will also open for use for tourists.

Moreover, following the rehabilitation of the railway between Yenikapı Station and Sirkeci Terminal Station, the historical station will continue to operate in emergencies. The stores and shops in the station that belong to TCDD will be moved to another building.

Spread over 20,000 square meters, the Sirkeci Terminal Station will feature a museum of over 8,000 square meters and tourist and cultural facilities, such as a hotel and restaurant of over 12,000 square meters. Built by German architect August Jasmund upon the orders of Sultan Abdülhamid II, the Sirkeci Terminal Station was designed with an orientalist style, as it is located at the junction of West and East. The historical building, which has been through turning points in history for 120 years, is home to the only railway museum in Turkey. The small museum exhibits objects that were used in stations and trains and is visited by 75,000 people every year.


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