Marmaray Railcars, Photo: Rail Turkey

Ridership in Marmaray

Marmaray, the railway tunnel under Bosphorus connecting Europe and Asia is of course under focus also in terms of ridership. There had been several statements about the ridership in Marmaray trains.

When Marmaray projects completed, 1.5 million daily ridership is planned. According to last statement after 6 months of opening, average daily ridership exceeds 100k.

It has to be noted that 13.5km of total 63km project has been opened. On the other hand, two metro connections in both sides of Istanbul had been completed. Istanbul Municipality is trying to strengthen Marmaray by some other connections to buses and light rail systems.

Cumulative ridership reaches to 4.5 million in first 15 “free-of-charge” days, 10 million in the beginning of 2014, 13.5 million in first 4 months and 21.4 million in first 6 months. To make the development more clear, we, as Rail Turkey, prefer to present average ridership in these periods:

Marmaray Average Daily Ridership, Chart: Rail Turkey
Marmaray Average Daily Ridership, Chart: Rail Turkey

As seen in graph, daily ridership reached to 300k when it’s free-of-charge, and decreased to less than 90k, and reached up to 120k after metro connection.

According to statistics of İETT, daily ridership of mass transports (including taxi) in Istanbul. So Marmaray has a 1% share in this total*.

Shares of Mass Transport Modes in Istanbul, Source: IETT, Chart: Rail Turkey
Shares of Mass Transport Modes in Istanbul, Source: IETT, Chart: Rail Turkey

Target for Marmaray is 1.5 million after completion which means a 10% share in Istanbul. With currently running part, Marmaray is preferred by ex-customers of sea transports, where by completion, many passengers using buses and minibuses are expected to prefer Marmaray.

* For ridership of Marmaray, statements of TUİK used instead of İETT.

Photo: Onur Uysal

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