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May 1, 2024

Public Transportation System in Turkey- Comprehensive Guide

The public transportation system in Turkey is an interesting topic of discussion, due to the government’s great interest in developing infrastructure. Despite the fact that Turkey is a large country and located on two continents, it is relatively easy to travel across the country because of its well-connected locations, cities and states. In general, Turkey has a well-developed public transportation system that meets the needs of both residents and tourists. 


Types of public transportation in Turkey: 

The transportation system in Turkey includes various modes of transport, including buses, trams, metro systems, ferries, and domestic flights. Thus we will talk about each type of them separately, in this article.


Minibus (Dolmuş)

Minibuses are known in Turkey as (dolmuş). It is a small bus or small van that drives along a limited or short distance, picking up passengers (using a standard taxi hand signal). It is available in many cities around Turkey such as: Bursa, Trabzon, and Istanbul. Minibusses can be used to move from one neighborhood. Many prefer them on local buses since they follow regular paths shown on a map to the driver and they are cheap to use and quite handy, almost as fast as taxis.


City Bus:

Every city has its own municipal buses that are cheap and easy to access. People can use these buses usually with the same ticket that is used for all types of public transportation, including metro, tramway, ferry, and bus. In Istanbul for example there are more than 800 lines and more than 6,000 buses that connect all parts of the city to each other.
The bus number is usually written on the electronic board, along with the areas it passes through, at the front side of the bus. You can find out the timing and destination of each bus simply by Google Maps.


Rail System:

The metropolitan train network is a sort of high-volume public transportation that is commonly seen in developed and populated cities like Istanbul and Ankara. It is a quick and effective means to go across the city or between different cities in order to reduce traffic load on the streets of big cities, transporting hundreds of people every day. The first metro opened in Istanbul in March 1989 under the name M1, and its destination was from Emniyet Station until Kocatepe. There are a total of 8 metro lines in Istanbul, which is symbolized by the letter (M) for the word (Metro), and they are: M1A, M1B, M2, M3, M4, M5, M6, and M7, in addition to other under- construction lines. The M4 and M5 metro lines operate on the Asian side of Istanbul, while the remaining six lines operate on the European side of the city.


Metrobus line:

The Metrobus line is one of the fastest modes among public transportation systems in Turkey. In Istanbul for example, it is located on the international highway (E5), which offers several stops. It is a 50-kilometer-long bus rapid transit line while the number of passengers exceeds 800 thousand passengers per day. The system includes 45 stations, including passing through the Bosphorus Bridge, with special lanes for practically the whole duration of the line. The metrobus station brings the outskirts of the city together, as it starts from Söğütlüçeşme station in Asian Istanbul, and ends at Beylikdüzü station in European Istanbul, so it provides visitors to Istanbul with quick access to various parts of the city.



Trams are a speedy and effective method to travel in many cities. It links the main areas in the city, and in Istanbul it exists in the old, tourist, and historic areas and often has more than one line. In Istanbul, tramway lines are 4 separated into 2 categories, European sidelines, and Asian sidelines, yet, the most important tramway line is the T1, which is on the European side of Istanbul, and covers the main touristic places, and goes almost throughout the whole of European Istanbul.
The following are the most famous tramway lines in Istanbul:

  • T1 which connects Kabataş of Bağcılar.
  • T2 which connects Kadıköy of Moda.
  • T3 which connects Topkapı of Mescid-i Selam.
  • T4 which connects Cibali to Alibeyköy. 


Ferry boats

This type of public transportation is commonly used in the city of Istanbul as it is located between 2 continents. Ferry boats are a pleasant and peaceful way to travel, it is also cheap compared to hired boats but it is relatively slow compared to other types of public transportation. They are an excellent method to move across Istanbul, where there are several connections that serve the Marmara area, with some lines also connecting to Bursa, Izmir, and Canakkale. Here are the most important docks in Istanbul:

  • Eminonu.
  • Kabataş.
  • Yenikapi.
  • Beşiktaş.
  • Ortakoy.
  • Kadikoy.


What are the Turkish cities supported by a good public transportation system?

Turkey has many cities with well-developed public transportation systems. However, the quality, quantity and coverage of public transportation may vary from one city to another, where major cities generally have more extensive and sufficient networks. Some of the Turkish cities known for their advanced and well-developed public transportation systems are:

Istanbul: It is the industrial capital of Turkey, thus it has the most extensive and advanced public transportation network among Turkish cities, including buses, metro lines, trams, ferries, and a funicular. The Istanbul Metro is one of the largest rapid transit systems in Europe, in particular, and in the world, in general, serving both the European and Asian sides of the city.

Ankara: It is the administrative capital of Turkey, thus, it has a comprehensive public transportation system. It includes a subway system (Ankaray and Ankara Metro), a bus network, and suburban train service (Banliyö Trenleri) connecting different parts of the city.

Izmir: It is one of the famous tourist Turkish cities, thus it has a well-organized public transportation system, including metro, tram lines, suburban trains, and an extensive bus network. Izmir Metro and Izmir Tram provide convenient transportation within the city.

Bursa: It is one of the biggest cities in Turkey and one of the main tourist destinations, especially in winter. It has an efficient public transportation system that includes a light rail system called (Bursaray), buses, and minibusses. Bursaray connects various parts of the city, including the city center and surrounding districts.

Antalya: It is one of the main tourist destinations, especially in summer. It has a reliable public transportation system, particularly during the tourist season. It includes a tram network called (AntRay), buses, and minibusses. The tram provides easy access to popular destinations within the city.

Adana: It is one of the biggest Turkish cities located in the south of Turkey.  It offers a comprehensive public transportation system, which includes a metro line, buses, and minibusses. The metro line of Adana, known as Adana Metro, connects different parts of the city together.

Konya: It is one of the big Turkish cities that receives hundreds of students every year. It has a well-structured public transportation system that includes buses and trams. Konya Tram serves as an efficient mode of transportation, covering various areas of the city and connecting them together.

These are just a few examples of Turkish cities with good public transportation systems. It is worth mentioning that there are other Turkish cities with good public transportation systems like Gaziantep, Kayseri, and Eskişehir.


The impact of public transportation on real estate in Turkey

Advanced infrastructure and public transportation form a good factor influencing the real estate market, in Turkey, in general, and  in Istanbul, in particular; they give real estate in any city great importance. Here are some of public transportation positive impact: 

  • Public transportation close to real estate projects and residential complexes shorten the distance between the neighborhoods and areas of each city.
  • The prices of real estate close to public transportation are high, due to the high demand on it. 
  • It made real estate of great importance and formed an attractive factor for tourists, which raised real estate prices.
    Properties close to public transportation  are of high investment value.
  • Public transportation eases traffic  and overcrowding on public roads and highways. 
  • The government's interest in infrastructure and public transportation led to the expansion and increase of residential and commercial projects.


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