Sisli Metro Station

Istanbul Public Transport Guide

You just arrived Istanbul. And you would like to see city using public transport, avoiding taxis and traffic jam if possible.

Transportation in this crowded, rapid and unplanned grown city is not easy. Nevertheless, the biggest portion of city budget is being spent for transportation, and you can reach to many points by public transport.

Here below Rail Turkey presents the Istanbul Public Transport Guide:

Index

Rail Systems

It’s possible to travel along main transport corridors of city by rail using 137-km-long 5 metro, 4 tram and 2 funicular lines.

Ataturk Airport, Bayrampasa Main Bus Station, Taksim, old peninsula is important regions of Istanbul which are rail connected.

Istanbul rail network (October 2016)
Istanbul rail network (October 2016)

Rail services are generally available between 6:00-24:00. To learn timetable of specific line/station, click Istanbul Ulasim Website, chose Sefer Tarifesi, and enter departure and arrival stations.

The only way to travel between two sides of Istanbul by rail is Marmaray. Marmaray crosses under Bosphorus connecting Ayrilikcesmesi (Kadikoy) and Uskudar in Asian side with Sirkeci, Yenikapi and Kazlicesme in European side.  Click for timetable of Marmaray.

Fare 2.15 TL (Istanbul Card) – 4 TL (Token) *
Payment Token, Istanbul Card, Blue Card, Electronic Ticket
Transfer No free transfer between lines. Discounted transfers within 2 hours for Istanbul Card holders.
Accessibility All new lines and some old lines have ease of access for disabled people.
Bike During rush hour (07.00-09.00/ 16.00-20.00) only foldable bikes in bags allowed. During other times, bikes are free. No charge.
Website http://www.istanbul-ulasim.com.tr
Pet Only guide dogs and pets in cages allowed.
Photoshooting Permisson must be requested for commercial and educative photoshoots.

Metrobus

Metrobus is the bus system running on special lane along E5 (Istanbul’s main state road going through city) connecting Beylikduzu in European side with Sogutlucesme (Kadikoy) in Asian side.

Service is available 7/24 and is the busiest public tranport line in Istanbul.

Fare 1.75-3.25 TL (stanbul Card), 4 TL (Token) *
Payment Token, Istanbul Card, Blue Card, Electronic Ticket
Transfer Transfer between metrobuses is free. Discounted fare for bus/metro usage within 2 hours after metrobus.
Accessibility 18 of 45 stations have ease of access (as of 26/01/2016)
Bike During rush hour (07.00-09.00/ 16.00-20.00) only foldable bikes in bags allowed. During other times, bikes are free. No charge.
Website http://metrobus.iett.gov.tr/
Pet Only pets carried on lap with leash and pets in cages allowed.
Photoshooting

Bus

Although rail system is extending, a big part of the city is not accessible by rail. Founded on hills and millons of cars not giving priority to pedestrian, it’s most of the time not easy to walk to nearest metro/tram station. Probably you’ll need buses if you want to go to exact place by public transport.

Bus lines are so many that cannot be shown on map. But you can use “Nasıl Giderim” to find the public transport alternatives between two points.

Timetables for buses show big variety. You can enter the number at IETT home page and see the route and timetable of that bus.

Fare 2.15 TL (double fare in some long lines and Bosphorus-crossing) *
Payment Istanbul Card, Blue Card, Electronic Ticket
Transfer Discounted fare for bus/metro transfers within 2 hours
Accessibility New buses have ease of access
Bike During rush hour (07.00-09.00/ 16.00-20.00) only foldable bikes in bags allowed. During other times, bikes are free. No charge.
Website http://iett.gov.tr/en/
Pet Only pets carried on lap with leash and pets in cages allowed.
Photoshooting

Ferry (Vapur)

Istanbul has a very long sea shore, founded between Black Sea and Marmara Sea, splitted into two by Bosphorus. Thus, there are sea connections especially between two sides of Istanbul.

Here below is the map of main lines:

Istanbul Main Ferry Lines

In addition to main lines, there are services along Bosphorus and Golden Horn, to Princess Islands,  and also Bosphorus tours. Ferries generally running during daytime and stops after rush hour. Route maps and timetables are as below:

Fare 2.15-3.85 TL (Istanbul Card), 4-5 TL (token) *
Payment Istanbul Card, Blue Card, Electronic Ticket, Token
Transfer
Accessibility Ferries have ease of access
Bike Allowed
Website http://en.sehirhatlari.com.tr/en/
Pet Only pets carried on lap with leash and pets in cages allowed.
Photoshooting Allowed

Seabus

Istanbul Seabus (IDO) has terminals in Bostanci and Kadikoy in Asian side and in Kabatas, Yenikapi, Bakirkoy and Avcilar in European side. Sea buses give services between these terminals.

There is also a ferry service between Sirkeci-Harem where cars also can use.

See timetables at IDO Website.

Fare 4.25-7 TL (Istanbul Card), 7-9 TL (token) *
Payment Istanbul Card, Token
Transfer
Accessibility Sea buses have ease of access
Bike Allowed (max 3 bikes)
Website http://www.ido.com.tr/en/
Pet Only pets in cages allowed (with health certificate).
Photoshooting Allowed

Boat

Different boat companies are giving service between European side, Asian side and Princess Islands. Some are running until very late hours. Here below are all boat companies:

Dentur: Has terminals in Uskudar and Bostanci in Asian side, in Besiktas, Kabatas, Eminonu and Bebek in European side. Click for the routes and timetables.

Turyol: Has terminals in Uskudar and Kadikoy in Asian side, in Eminonu and Karakoy in European side. Click for the routes and timetables.

Prenstur: Giving service between Kartal and Princess Islands. Click for the routes and timetables.

Mavi Marmara: Giving service between Bostanci/Kabatas and Princess Islands. Click for the routes and timetables.

Beyden: Giving service between Beykoz-Yenikoy and Pasabahce-Istinye. Click for the routes and timetables.

Fare Shows variety depending on route
Payment Istanbul Card, Blue Card, Token
Transfer
Accessibility Access with steps
Bike Allowed
Website Each company has its own
Pet Only pets in cages allowed (with health certificate).
Photoshooting Allowed

Minibus and Dolmus

Minibus and dolmus still keep their importance in public transport. Despite complaints, still has an big share.

Some depart after all seats sold, some waits on way to get new customers. Fare changes depending on where you get in, and where you get off. You can ask to driver for the fare by telling where do you want to go. Payment in cash.

You can see the routes of minibus and “dolmus” at Trafi by entering “Sefer Saatleri/Timetables” and chosing minibus/dolmus you are interested.

Fare Shows variety depending on route
Payment Cash
Transfer
Accessibility Limited number of minibuses have ease of access
Bike Not allowed
Website
Pet Only pets in cages allowed
Photoshooting

Payment

The main payment tool is Istanbul Card. Price of card is 6 TL*. You can load as much money as you want using ticket offices and machines. It can be used in all systems except minibus and dolmus. It not only provides discounted fare, but also additional discounts on transfers.

Tokens can also be used on rail and sea. Token fares almost double fares with Istanbul Card.

1, 2, 3, 5 and 10 pass electronic tickets can be used. 1-pass is 4 TL, ten-passes is 30 TL*.

Blue cards (monthly free ride cards) has the picture of card holder. It allows 180 passes during month. 170 TL*. Similar card for students allows 200 passes and 77 TL*.

Only cash is allowed in minibus and dolmus. None of others accept cash. If out of cash in bus, ask to other passengers.

Click for the tariff for public transport systems (in Turkish).

Mobile ApplicationsThere are some mobile applications which may ease your life when using public transport.Trafi : Public transport suggestion between two points using rail, bus, sea, dolmus and minibus.Moovit: Public transport suggestion between two points using rail, bus, sea, dolmus and minibus.Nasıl Giderim : Public transport suggestion between two points using rail, bus and sea transport.

Mobiett : Route and timetable of all buses, ETA for bus stops.

MetroIstanbul : Route, timetable, station information, shortest path between two stations for rail systems (except Marmaray).

Yandex.Metro : Route, timetable, station information, shortest path between two stations for rail systems.

IBB Trafik : Traffic density in Istanbul’s main steets.

Ridership

As of end of 2015, daily ridership of all above modes are as follows**:

Bus

3.164.384

Minibus/Dolmus

2.210.000

Rail

1.605.393

Metrobus

800.000

Boat

137.285

Ferriy (Vapur)

106.357

IDO

20.610

Based on these figures, the shares of transport modes are as follows:

Istanbul Public Transport Share

Foto: Kerim Kürkçü ©
* All fares are as of January 2016. 
** Based on IETT reports.

Leave Your Question/Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s