Urban Transport

Sabiha Gokcen metro in 10 questions


Metro connection to Sabiha Gokcen airport is commissioned.

The 4-stations metro extension line connecting Turkey’s 2nd busiest airport (2021) to first metro of Asian side of Istanbul has been completed after 7-years-long work. Here are 10 questions and 10 answers about Sabiha Gokcen metro:

Will passengers interchange to new line at Tavsantepe to go to Sabiha Gökcen?

No. The M4 metro line, which used to give service between Kadikoy and Tavsantepe, is now giving service between Kadikoy and Sabiha Gokcen. So 4 new stations have been added to the the existing line. Passengers getting in the M4 metro can directly go to Sabiha Gokcen without any interchange.

Kadikoy-Tavsantepe-Sabiha Gokcen metro route

With this extension line, M4 has reached to 33 km and has become the longest metro line of Istanbul. But this will not go long. Gayrettepe-Istanbul Airport line, which is planned to open within this year, is 36 km long.

How can one go to Sabiha Gokcen using rail network?

Anywhere along M4 metro line, people can reach to Sabiha Gokcen directly.

Ayrilik Cesmesi is interchange station for Marmaray and M4. From all stations at European and Asian side of Istanbul, Sabiha Gokcen is reachable with one interchange.

Bostanci-Dudullu metro (M8) will be commissioned within this year. Umraniye-Sabiha Gokcen will be possible with one interchange.

Unalan is interchange statino for Metrobus and M4. One can go to Sabiha Gokcen with one interchange from regions around Metrobus (Sogutlucesme-Altunizade-Zincirlikuyu-Mecidiyekoy-Merter-Avcilar-Beylikduzu).

Rail and metrobus network integrated with Kadikoy-Sabiha Gokcen metro line

How can one reach to Sabiha Gokcen from HSTs?

There’s a metro project connecting Pendik HST station to Sabiha Gokcen, Pendik-Sabiha Gokcen line (M10). However construction works do not go fast, min a couple of years are needed to be completed.

Pendik train station is 1 km away from M4 Pendik metro station (12 min by walk). However, the route is not pedestrian-friendly, you may prefer using bus or dolmus.

How long it takes to airport?

It takes 52 minutes from Kadikoy to Sabiha Gokcen by M4 metro. From Pendik station it’s 12, from Kozyatagi 40 minutes. Using Marmaray and interchange at Ayrilik Cesmesi, it takes around 50 minutes from Sirkeci to Sabiha Gokcen.

Working times of metro?

M4 metro line is giving service between 06:00-00:00 (6 in the morning till midnight). M4 is one of the “night metro” lines, giving continuous service from Friday morning till Sunday midnight.

Who constructed the metro line, who operates?

The 26-km-long Kadikoy-Tavsantepe metro line was constructed by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) and 7-km-long Tavsantepe-Sabiha Gokcen extension line was constructed by Ministry of Transport.

Ministry of Transport decided to operate the metros that are constructed by themselves, however separete operation is not possible on this extension line, thus whole line is being operated by IBB.

Who pays the cost?

The line costs TL 4.5 billion (around € 250 million), all is paid though the budget of Ministry.

Cities pay back the cost of metro projects that are funded by Ministry, after operation starts. This pay-back amount was 15% of the revenue of metro line until 2019. Since then, cities pay back as 5% of their whole income.

Thus, IBB will pay back the cost of metro in 30 months, TL 150 million/month (around 8 mn).

This pay-back method was criticized by municipalities as “pay back period will be so short for metro projects. Credits for such projects may have pay-back period of 10-12 years. In this method, cities do not pay anything during construction. There are some advantages and disadvantages of this method for cities.

Why 7-km-long line lasted 7 years?

The project was started in 2015 by Ministry of Transport. The construction time is quite long, over average construction time of metros in Istanbul. Gayrettepe-Istanbul Airport line, again constructed by Ministry, is 5 times longer but will be commissioned in 6 years.

However, the extension projects have additional difficulties during construction and tests.

As Ministry of Transport has allocated a huge budget for the new metro line to Istanbul Airport, both airports might have been planned to be connected by metro within the same year.

Will metro line reach to Viaport and Pendik HST station?

The extension line is planned as 2 phases. 2nd phase is Sabiha Gokcen-Kurtkoy Kavsagi with 3 new statinos (Teknopark, Yenisehir, Viaport). This was also listed in the metro projects leaded by Ministry of Transport. However, this phase is not listed in the city projects section of Ministry.

Projects connected to Sabiha Gokcen metro line

There’s another metro project, connecting Sabiha Gokcen to Pendik HST station: M10 Pendik-Sabiha Gokcen metro line. It’s not an extension, but will share the same line with M4 between Sabiha Gokcen and Fevzi Cakmak/Hastane. Thenre the line will split. Next station is the interchange station to M4 Tavsantepe-Tuzla extension line. Last stop is Pendik for interchange to Marmaray and HSTs. 30% of construction works are completed on this line. However contract is cancelled due to low speed and was announced that a new tender will be held.

What are public transport alternatives from Sabiha Gokcen?

Cover photo: Alikam1896, CC BY-SA 4.0

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