Best Rail Solutions in Turkish Cities

Turkish cities started more and more using rail solutions for public transport.

The total network is more than 500 kilometers and the rolling stock exceeds 1800. Monthy ridership reaches to almost 100 mn.

Below table shows the monthy total ridership by cities including metros, LRVs and trams:

City Monthy Ridership
İstanbul 47.466.228
İzmir 16.018.000
Ankara 9.975.956
Bursa 5.741.667
Eskişehir 3.861.212
Kayseri 2.790.133
Konya 2.116.684
Gaziantep 1.950.000
Samsun 1.548.174
Antalya 1.200.000
Adana 1.200.000
Adapazarı 52.000

As seen, Istanbul has half of the rail passengers in urban transport. Istanbul has also the longest rail network, biggest rail car fleet and also started producing its own trams.

Let’s examine the figures comparing with the population of the cities. Eskisehir Tram (Estram), having UITP’s 2004 Rail Award, has the biggest coverage, where each citizen rides on rail almost 5 times a month. Izmir and Istanbul are following Eskisehir.

City Transport Frequency per Citizen*
Eskişehir 4,8
İzmir 3,9
İstanbul 3,4
Kayseri 2,2
Bursa 2,1
Ankara 2,0
Samsun 1,2
Gaziantep 1,1
Konya 1,0
Adana 0,6
Antalya 0,6
Adapazarı 0,1

* Monthy ridership/city population (based on 2013 TUIK population statistics)

Another criteria is ridership per kilometer, which may help us understanding how efficient the rail system is. Istanbul has top ridership/km, where Eskisehir and Izmir follows:

City Ridership/Length
İstanbul 342.964
Eskişehir 241.326
İzmir 160.180
Bursa 126.190
Antalya 109.091
Ankara 108.317
Samsun 98.610
Konya 96.213
Adana 88.889
Kayseri 82.063
Gaziantep 75.000
Adapazarı 5.200

Of course, there are different rail systems in cities which may cause unfair comparisons. So let’s examine metro, LRV, tram and suburban systems separetely.


There are 4 cities in Turkey with metros. Istanbul has the biggest network in terms of length and ridership.

City Lines Length (km) Ridership Ridership/Length
İstanbul 5 90,5 28.731.004 317.470
İzmir 1 20 8.250.000 412.500
Ankara 3 46,6 6.041.802 129.652
Adana 1 13,5 1.200.000 88.889


LRVs are mainly overground with less capacity compared with metro systems. There are 3 cities with LRV network. Bursa has the biggest network in terms of length and ridership.

City Lines Length (km) Ridership Ridership/Length
Bursa (Bursaray) 2 39 5.491.667 140.812
Ankara (Ankaray) 1 8,5 2.824.154 332.253
Gaziantep 3 26 1.950.000 75.000


Trams are completely overground, sometimes using same space with cars, ability to run within streets and make sharp turns, having low capacity.

Istanbul has the second longest tram network with 2 lines, and has the biggest ridership.

Eskisehir is the second in ridership list, running 7 lines in considerably short network (16 km).

Kayseri has the longest tram network with 34 km, running 2 lines and is the third in ridership list.

City Lines Length (km) Ridership Ridership/Length
Istanbul* 2 33,8 13.200.657 390.552
Eskisehir (Estram) 7 16 3.861.212 241.326
Kayseri 2 34 2.790.133 82.063
Konya 1 22 2.116.684 96.213
Samsun 1 15,7 1.548.174 98.610
Antalya* 1 11 1.200.000 109.091
Bursa* 1 6,5 250.000 38.462

* Old tram lines are excluded. Bursa statistics are based on first three months after opening.

Izmit (Kocaeli) will be added to cities with tram systems in 2017.

Suburban Lines

Suburban lines are the urban service on national rail network, which is given directly by or in cooperation with TCDD.

Izban in Izmir has the biggest ridership and longest network.

Izban: Suburban trains of Izmir

Marmaray is the second crowdest suburban service in list connecting European and Asian sides of Istanbul.

Marmaray project

Below listed all suburban services in Turkey:

City Length (km) Ridership Ridership/Length
Izmir (Izban) 80 7.768.000 97.100
Istanbul (Marmaray) 13,5 4.591.193 340.088
Ankara 37 1.110.000 30.000
Adapazari (Adaray) 10 52.000 5.200

Izmir, Istanbul and Ankara has expansion plans in suburban service. Two additional cities, Kayseri and Gaziantep, are also planning to start suburban service.


The figures are based on following resources:

  • Istanbul metro and tram: October 2015. Official figures.
  • Istanbul Marmaray : August 2015. Official figures.
  • Ankara : September 2015. Official figures.
  • Izmir metro and Izban: October 2015. Press releases.
  • Eskişehir : December 2014. Official figures.
  • Kayseri : July 2015. Official figures.
  • Bursa : 2012 for LRV, 2013 for tram. Press releases.
  • Samsun, Konya, Gaziantep : 2014. Press releases.
  • Adapazarı, Antalya, Adana: 2013. Approximate figures from press releases.

Photo: Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

Related Articles:
Public Transport by Rail in Turkish Cities
Urban Transport by Rail in Ankara
Urban Transport by Rail in Izmir
Urban Transport by Rail in Istanbul


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