The metro network in Tehran, the capital city of Iran, is a vast network with four fully operational lines. The extension projects of the suburban transport network don’t stop at just four lines and there are plans for the construction of another two metro lines. But in order to achieve this, the authorities in Tehran are seeking financing sources. The costs of the new projects would amount to USD 2 Billion, money that the authorities hope to get from China.
The financial sanctions imposed to Iran had consequences, as probably expected. One of the economic branches affected by these sanctions is public transport; in fact, there are no available funds from the state budget to continue the projects for the extension of metro lines, projects initiated in 2007 and only partially finalized. The responsible authorities negotiate with China – government, banks, or financing institutions – to obtain a loan to continue projects and to provide efficient public transport services to the eight million people who live in Tehran.
“The authorities in Tehran initially wanted to build 430 kilometres of metro line with 256 stations; costs for these projects were estimated at USD 18 Billion. As a consequence of the applied sanctions, only 261 kilometres have received the green light for construction with 175 stations. Costs for these revised projects amounted to USD 10 Billion”, declared Mohammad Montazeri, Deputy General Director for Planning and Logistics at Tehran Urban & Suburban Railway Company, writes panarmenian.net, quoting Reuters.
Thus, the first part of the project for the extension of the metro network in the Iranian capital, with a length of 89 kilometres and 41 stations, is fully operational, while the second part of the project, including the extension by another 70 kilometres and 66 stations, is scheduled to be commissioned in 2013. The third part is the one confronted with financing problems. It includes the construction of 102 kilometres and 68 stations. If potential and reliable financing sources are identified, the third part of the project will be inaugurated in 2015. At the moment, the financing of current projects is ensured from private sources, 50%, and 50% from the state budget. Only in 2010, the Government in Tehran allocated funds necessary to the development of the underground network. Lines 1, 2, 4 and 5 are fully operational, while works on lines 3 and 7 are on-going. In September 2012, 80 new metro cars were introduced on the existing lines. The cars were manufactured by the local railway industry and their commissioning was aimed at improving public transport and the access of citizens to this type of services. Tehran Metro carries 2.5 million passengers every day and is one of the most complex metro networks in Middle East. Rail public transport projects are important in Iran and Mashad, Isfahan and Shiraz are another three important cities in Iran where metro networks are built.