İmamoğlu: 'Our 2029 Target is 622 Kilometers Rail System'

Our imamoglu goal is the kilometer rail system
Our imamoglu goal is the kilometer rail system

Speaking at the "Big Move in Rail Systems" meeting, IMM President Ekrem İmamoğluHe said, "The people who ruled this city for years, instead of solving this biggest and most vital problem of the city, they established a complete waste order."
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) organized a meeting of “Great Move in Rail Systems”.

CHP Deputy Chairman Honorary Adıgüzel, IYI Party Deputy Chairman Arzu Önşen and Bahadır Erdem, deputies, district mayors, IMM Assembly members, political party representatives and IMM senior management were present at the meeting. Speaking at the meeting held at the Haliç Congress Center, IMM President Ekrem İmamoğluStating that CHP Istanbul Provincial Chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu and IYI Party Istanbul Provincial Chairperson Buğra Kavuncu were also present at the event, he reminded that they both worked together in the 2019 local elections and fought together. Emphasizing that the sections that lost the March 31 and June 23, 2019 elections are trying to cut the bill for their defeat to Kaftancıoğlu and Kavuncu, İmamoğlu said, “They continue to deal with both of our presidents personally and invent ways to punish them. We will never leave you alone; we do not feed. We are stronger together,” he said.


Stating that the most important problems of the city were listed as transportation and traffic in their research before the Kovid-19 period, İmamoğlu said that citizens expect a solution in this direction. Stating that in the past, the administrators who ruled the city turned towards "crazy projects" from the 18th century, instead of the real problems of the city, Imamoglu said, "Those who ruled this city for years had established a complete wasteful system instead of solving this biggest and most vital problem of the city." Stating that those who started the campaign with the slogan “Subway everywhere, subway everywhere” were out of the classroom when it came to actually building the subway, İmamoğlu justified his words with numerical information. İmamoğlu shared the information that "While cities of similar size in the world were building a rail system of 25-30 kilometers per year, the average annual metro construction for the previous 25 years did not reach 5 kilometers".


Noting that a quarter-century of great time was spent in this way, İmamoğlu listed the mistakes made in the process one by one in his speech. Stating that instead of permanent solutions that will make life easier, they are dealing with expensive and temporary jobs, and underlined that the tenders are carried out irregularly and without finance. Pointing out that it is impossible to carry out large-scale projects with IMM resources, İmamoğlu said, “If you try to do it with your own resources, it may take 100 years to build an efficient rail system network that will make life easier in Istanbul and minimize the traffic problem. So you have to find funding from other sources and develop various finance models. All over the world, such macro projects are carried out with funds outside the municipal budget, ”he said.


Sharing the information that the budget of 2017 different metro lines that were tendered simultaneously in 7 is approximately 27 billion TL as of today, İmamoğlu emphasized that this figure is close to the total budget of IMM for 2021. Stating that the former managers, who did not act rationally, thought to tender the projects, but did not think of finding resources and could not find them, İmamoğlu reminded that another forgotten issue apart from financing is implementation projects. İmamoğlu gave the tender Mahmutbey-Bahçeşehir-Esenyurt line as an example. Stating that the construction of the line in question has never started, İmamoğlu said, “Unfortunately, these are the works, procedures and practices that do not comply with the seriousness of public administration. As such, financial institutions have long avoided funding these lines. The management of Mr. Mevlüt Uysal, who came to power temporarily, had to stop the construction on these lines altogether in the same year ”reminded us.


İmamoğlu expressed the scene of that period with the following words:

“When we took over the mission on June 23, 2019, the total length of 12 rail system lines, including the lines in Istanbul, was 140,90 kilometers. The 7 lines, which were tendered overnight, were stopped by a post on December 29, 2017. Together with these 7 lines, the construction of a total of 10 kilometers of subway on 103,4 lines, which were unfinished due to lack of funds or not started at all, was stalled for 1 to 2,5 years. Unfortunately, the effect of stopping the construction sites on the total project costs was approximately 11 billion TL. The total length of the 2 rail system lines, which have loans but are still under construction, was 37,50 kilometers. We took over almost abandoned construction sites, most of them at beginner level. We took over large pits in various districts, at central points, surrounded by panels, creating vital risks for the residents.


Stating that they approached the problem with a holistic and inclusive perspective, Imamoglu stated that one of their first jobs was to establish the “Istanbul Transportation Platform”. Emphasizing that they aim to prepare their Istanbul visions together with all their stakeholders in this way, İmamoğlu said, "In line with the green, fair and creative city vision we set for Istanbul, we targeted an accessible, affordable, integrated and inclusive transportation system that prioritizes climate change and environmental problems in urban travels." said. Underlining that quality public transportation is essential for the Istanbul transportation system to be economically sustainable and durable, İmamoğlu also mentioned that they are working on the popularization of alternative transportation vehicles such as bicycles. Expressing that they also care about pedestrian transportation to public transportation points, İmamoğlu emphasized that they aim to make Istanbul a pedestrian friendly and walkable city. Saying that “The main backbone of Istanbul's public transportation system must be rail systems”, İmamoğlu explained in detail their work on different types of transportation in this context.


Reminding that during the election campaign, they expressed that they would give priority to the subway, not the wasteful projects that ignore the problems of the people, İmamoğlu underlined that they will finish the lines that were promised by the previous administration but not completed as soon as possible. Stating that they took action to find funds to start a big move in the rail system infrastructure, İmamoğlu stated that the first foreign financing was signed in autumn 2019. Stating that the loans were insufficient due to the size of the projects, İmamoğlu reminded that they started the bond issue project in October 2019 as a new financing model. Saying, "International financial institutions, which saw that Istanbul was doing business with transparency, merit, public interest and an accountable management, bid exactly 580 times our $ 4 million bond issue," said İmamoğlu, adding that they started the "rail systems move" with the funds provided.


İmamoğlu also shared the following information about the rail system projects they have put into action one by one:

- An agreement worth 2019 million Euros was signed in August 175 with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank and the Societe Generale Bank. On October 10, 2019, construction work was resumed on the Ümraniye-Ataşehir-Göztepe Metro Line.

- A loan agreement of 2019 million Euros was signed with Deutsche Bank in October 110. On January 7, 2020, the construction of the 1st part of the Çekmeköy-Sancaktepe-Sultanbeyli Metro Line was resumed. First of all, the work between Çekmeköy-Sancaktepe City Hospital, which is the first part of the line, will be completed. An additional financing of 1 million Euros was provided to the project from the fund obtained by the Eurobond issuance. Thus, with this financing, the work of the line up to Sultanbeyli was accelerated.

- A loan agreement of 2020 million Euros was signed with the French Development Agency in February 86. On February 20, 2020, Kaynarca-Pendik-Tuzla 1st part works were resumed. In addition, with the financing of 34 million Euros to be used from the Eurobond export, the construction of the first part of the line, between Pendik Center-Kaynarca-Hospital, will be completed.

- The 2016 million Euro loan of the Eminönü-Alibeyköy-Tram Line project, which was started in 100, was finished and the construction works were completely stopped. In March 2020, funds were transferred to the project from IMM's own resources and the constructions were resumed.

- The Rumelihisarüstü-Aşiyan Funicular Line project, which was launched in 2017, had completely stopped as of March 2019 due to insufficient funds. In June 2020, the construction on this line was resumed by creating equity.

- The loan of the Dudullu-Bostancı Metro Line project, which was also started in 2016, was over and the construction works were completely stopped as of March 2019. In June 2020, equity was created and the constructions on this line were resumed.

- Fund from Eurobond issuance, Kirazlı-Halkalı 170 million Euros of financing was provided for the Metro Line project. With this financing, the construction work of the line will be resumed this month.

- Again, from the fund obtained from the Eurobond issuance, 220 million Euros of finance was transferred to the Mahmutbey-Bahçeşehir-Esenyurt Metro Line project. Within the scope of restarting construction works with this finance, design works are ongoing.

- İkitelli-Ataköy Metro Line, which is one of the two projects that continue to be built when it was commissioned, achieved 64 percent progress in a short time. This year, the 2.1-kilometer part will be put into service next year and the whole.


Emphasizing that they started to get fast results on the lines that were started to be built, İmamoğlu said, “On October 28, 2020 Kabataş- We opened the 18-kilometer section of Mecidiyeköy-Mahmutbey Metro Line between Mecidiyeköy-Mahmutbey for the use of Istanbul residents. On January 1, 2021, we opened the 9-kilometer section of the Eminönü-Alibeyköy Tram Line between Cibali-Alibeyköy Pocket Bus ". İmamoğlu gave the good news that all of the 10 projects they took office and restarted will be completed between 2021 and 2024 and made available to the people of Istanbul. Saying, “All this will be possible by building rail systems on 2021 lines in 10 and on 2021 lines in 12,” said İmamoğlu, “Thus; Including the total 100,3 kilometers we will complete in our period, our rail system network that we have built as IMM will reach 253,45 kilometers. With the 91,5-kilometer lines to be completed by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, Istanbul's rail system network will reach 424,85 kilometers. "Our total network will increase to 2024 kilometers between 2029 and 622,15 with the new lines we have prepared projects for."


Emphasizing that they created employment thanks to the restarted projects, İmamoğlu said, “As of today, we have employed a total of 10 people in our 5.000 ongoing projects. Since June 2019, we have employed 4.000 people. With the new projects to start, the number of our employment will increase even more ”. İmamoğlu gave the good news that they will be tendered for 2021 new and large lines that they will project in 2. İmamoğlu, these projects; With the "Beylikdüzü - Esenyurt - Sefaköy - İncirli Metro Line", Istanbul residents living in 17 districts including Beylikdüzü, Esenyurt, Avcılar, Küçükçekmece, Bağcılar, Esenler, Bayrampaşa, Gaziosmanpaşa, Eyüp, Kağıthane, Beşiktaş, Üsküdar, Ümraniye, Ataşehir, Sancaktepe, Sultanbeyli, Pendik shared the information that it is HIZRAY that will make his life easier.


"We see that after the pandemic, the 'new normals' of urban transportation will have to be much more hygienic and people-oriented," said İmamoğlu and concluded his speech with the following words:

“The trend of moving away from public transportation vehicles and traveling within the city by private vehicles will change after the pandemic. Because in metropolises such as Istanbul, it is a necessity that the main transportation route is public transportation based on rail systems. We are working with all our strength with this great move we started. In line with the increasing health sensitivities, we will proceed with common mind and participatory models in order to develop correct and healthy solutions in the field of transportation, which closely concerns the daily life of every citizen living in our city and every visitor to Istanbul. We will double the current rate of the rail system, which is around 18 percent in public transportation, in the short term. When we finish the lines we are currently building, this ratio will reach 35 percent. In the medium term, with the launch of Beylikdüzü Metro Line and HIZRAY, we will increase the ratio of rail systems in transportation to 45 percent.


This ratio will not only relieve urban traffic permanently, but also lower the amount of carbon-based fuel Istanbul consumes. Movement in the city will accelerate. The life quality of Istanbul residents will rise to the level of similar metropolises in advanced countries. Until that date, we will try to work with the claim of knitting all parts of Istanbul with iron nets and not to compromise the planning and timing that I have described today. As I promised in my campaign, Istanbul has no problem that cannot be solved, especially traffic and transportation. As long as you do not give in to the wasteful system. Serve by prioritizing the benefit of this holy city and 16 million Istanbulites. In ending my words, I once again call all my citizens 'mask, distance and cleanliness'. And I always say vaccine. I say that you should be vaccinated without listening to the anti-vaccine words, by making an appointment when the time comes.

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