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Istanbul sees yet another public transportation fee increase

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    Istanbul sees yet another public transportation fee increase

    Istanbul, a bustling metropolis known for its rich history and vibrant culture, recognizes the pivotal role that public transport plays in sustaining its urban dynamics. The city's intricate web of buses, subways, ferries, and taxis serves as a lifeline, connecting millions of residents and visitors to their destinations. However, the challenge of maintaining an efficient and accessible public transport system is exacerbated by the recurring issue of inflation. Unfortunately, the city has been grappling with a disheartening trend of public transport fee increases occurring almost every other month, a consequence of the relentless pressure of inflation on the economy. Despite the undeniable importance of affordable transportation in a city as expansive as Istanbul, finding a sustainable balance between keeping public transport accessible and managing the escalating costs remains an ongoing struggle.

    On Tuesday, the Istanbul Municipality (IBB) revealed a significant rise in fares for public transportation, encompassing all forms of public vehicles including buses, subways, ferries crossing the Bosporus, as well as increased rates for hop-on-hop-off taxis.

    During an extraordinary meeting of the Transportation Coordination Center (UKOME), the IBB announced a 51.52% increase in public transport fares. The session, led by Deputy Secretary General Buğra Gökçe at the 1453 Çırpıcı Social Facilities, witnessed the proposal of a 51.5% fare increase by IBB. This proposition was deliberated upon and ultimately approved by a majority of votes, according to reports by Anadolu Agency (AA).

    In accordance with this decision, the cost of a full ticket, previously priced at TL 9.90 ($0.37), surged to TL 15. Likewise, the student fare escalated from TL 4.83 to TL 7.32. Conversely, the fare for hop-on-hop-off taxis leaped from TL 40 to TL 70, constituting a 75% increase.

    The hike also brought about an increase in teacher electronic ticket prices, rising from TL 7.09 to TL 10.74. Simultaneously, the monthly full subscription fee reached its peak at TL 1,177, up from the previous TL 777, while the monthly student subscription fee escalated from 140 TL to 212 TL.

    Within the realm of taxis, the initial taximeter fee surged from TL 12.65 to TL 19.17, whereas the yellow taxi fee per kilometer travelled rose from TL 8.51 to TL 13.75.

    Furthermore, the fee for short-distance rides in minibuses, a common mode of transport in the city, increased from TL 7.00 to TL 12.00.

    The municipality's decision to heighten transportation fees also encompassed an increase in school bus fees from TL 792 to TL 1,300 for distances of 0-1 kilometers (0-0.62 miles). Likewise, the personnel service fee for minibusses with 10-17 seats was raised from TL 422.40 to TL 640.02.

    Reports indicated that Eyüp Aksu, the head of an association representing the city's taxi drivers, along with other taxi drivers, left the UKOME meeting in protest against the fare increase. Earlier in the week, it was noted that taxi drivers demanded a higher raise, despite facing criticism from the public for issues experienced before and during rides.

    One of the most prominent concerns voiced by customers and commuters in Istanbul pertains to the challenge of finding available taxis, with complaints often centered around drivers "selecting passengers and routes" at their convenience.

    This hike in public transport fares in Istanbul follows similar increases in other major metropolitan areas, including the capital city Ankara and southern Antalya, both of which raised mass transit service fares earlier in July.