Which cities use rail systems the most?


Rail transportaiton systems develop fast in metropols of Turkey.

In 2016, more than 1 billion passengers use urban rail systems in Turkey. More than half of that was in Istanbul.

Still, usage is far behind the metropols of the world. The daily ridership of Paris metro is 4 million doubling the population of the city. Daily ridership reaches to 50% of population in New York, London and Moscow.

The highest ratio in Turkey is 14% in Eskişehir. Eskişehir has the 5th longest rail system among all Turkish cities. Succesfully designed tram network becomes one of the main transportation system in the city connecting main bus and train stations, city center and universities.

İzmir is second in the list with effective integration of suburban train and buses. With huge metro investments in recent years, Istanbul is third in the list. Both cities have daily ridership/population ratios over 10%.

Below are the ratios of Turkish cities including metros, trams and suburban trains:

Ridership Population Ratio in Turkish cities

Adana is at the bottom of the list having the shortest rail system except Adapazari. The Meydan-Airport-Expo tram line at Antalya, which is the least-crowded rail system among all, could not take Antalya to better place in the list.

Cover Photo: Steve Hobson ©

Written by Onur Uysal

Railway consultant. Owner of RT Media & Consultancy. Founder and editor of Rail Turkey.

2 comments

  1. Interesting but the population figure for Samsun CITY is less than a million – perhaps you are confusing the CITY population with the PROVINCE population.

    Do you know where I can find a large scale map of the extension of the Samsun tramway, which has just started being constructed to the university campus? Are councils legally required to publish such maps on the internet do you know?

  2. Good point. It might be a better comparison with city population.

    But there are some reasons to use province population

    As Samsun becomes a metropolitan city, now all province is counted as part of city and metropolitan mayorship is responsible for all public transportation in whole province.

    Secondly, some of the public transportation systems reach to outer counties, as in Antalya and İzmir. There’s a plan of tram in Gebze. The airport metro in İstanbul (under construction) will reach to outer counties like Göktürk and new airport.

    So I believe above comparison with province population makes sense. 🙂

    But if you can access to a well-examined city population from a trustable source, I’m ready to extend this article with that information.

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