Minister of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communication Ahmet Arslan announced that the suburban railway train, which will connect Europe and Asia in Istanbul, will be operational by the end of 2018 and serve 1.5 million Istanbulites and visitors per day on an uninterrupted 77-kilometer long commuter rail system.
Minister Arslan highlighted that citizens have shown great interest in the Marmaray, which has been described as the project of century and connects two continents in Istanbul under the sea. The minister explained that approximately 300 million passengers have traveled on the Marmaray, which serves a 15-kilometer route, over a four year period.
As the construction continues on the suburban line, both on the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, the aim is to ensure that these lines will have the same uninterrupted quality of service offered by the Marmaray.
On the Asian side of Istanbul, the line will connect Gebze to Ayrılıkçeşmesi, the Marmary's first stop on the Asian side. Likewise on the European side, the line will connect Kazlıçeşme, Marmaray's first stop on the European side, to Halkalı. The Marmaray will serve the route from Gebze to Halkalı, Arslan said.
"By the end of 2018, we will complete the construction of the commuter rail system on both sides of Istanbul," the minister stressed.
A trip today from Halkalı to Gebze typically takes a little over three hours, including the ferry trip from Sirkeci to Haydarpaşa. When the upgraded commuter rail system is in place, the trip will take one hour and 45 minutes. In other words, passengers will save approximately one hour and 15 minutes on each trip.