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istanbulkartIstanbul’s smart transportation ticketing service “Istanbulkart” received the “Best Smart Card Ticketing Service” award on Wednesday at the Seventh Transport Ticketing & Passenger Information Global event held in London.

With over 20 million cards in circulation and continuing growth, the Istanbulkart system operated by the city’s transport body IETT received the award.

The jury assessment said the card system currently covers 98 percent of payments used in the city’s transportation system with over six million daily trips. The Istanbulkart is currently being used by 10 different transport operators throughout the city, a feature underlined with the jury statement.

The success of the system, along with its scale and effect over the lives of millions, were among the factors why the system was awarded.

Around a quarter of cards in circulation provide free or discount fares for commuters.

The card system includes 700 automatic top-up machines, 2,200 IETT sale and top-up dealers, 22 regular and two mobile application centers.

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.

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