The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) announced on Thursday new fees for its Istanbulkart, the city’s electronic mass transit pass that covers every public vehicle, from buses and subways to ferries operating between the two sides of the Bosporus.
The increase in fees, which rose by 92% for some types of passes, will not affect current pass holders. Anonim Istanbulkart, a non-personalized pass, can now be purchased for TL 25 ($1.85) instead of TL 13. The rise comes just about two months after a 160% increase in the fee, from TL 5 to TL 13.
Fees to renew passes for people who benefit from discounted fares, from senior citizens to students, also increased. The indirimli (discount) card renewal fee was increased to TL 35 from TL 20.
BELBIM, the municipality’s company that supplies the electronic passes, said in a written statement that the card production costs rose around TL 35, “parallel to the global chip crisis and fluctuations in foreign currencies.”
The municipality had slapped new increases in electronic pass fees in December 2021 and now charges nearly TL 5.50 for trips in a single vehicle, without connections to other means of mass transit, like from Metrobuses to inner-city trains. It also charges TL 11 for a single-use pass, particularly popular among tourists and new arrivals to the city.
Istanbulkart, which replaced the primitive electronic device Akbil in 2015, allows smooth travel through Istanbul's complicated traffic and complex mass transit system. The municipality had recently introduced a mobile app that allows users to add credit to their electronic passes and use contactless payment through a QR code while boarding mass transit vehicles. The electronic pass also serves as a pre-paid debit card in certain shopping venues, like supermarkets.