Turkey’s largest city hosted Friday an international conference to solve the metropolis’ transportation and traffic problems.
Hayri Baracci, general secretary of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, said the growth of the city and its increased population pose continuous challenges to the local authorities and the IETT – Istanbul’s transport body.
"The best way to cut traffic is to improve public transportation. We are working on sustainable solutions to ease Istanbul's traffic," he said.
Istanbul is the second-worst European city after Moscow in terms of traffic congestion, according to 2012 data from European navigation systems company, TomTom.
Organized in cooperation with the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and IETT, the “Transits 2014” meeting was held under the theme of “4S: Smart, Safety, Simplicity and Sustainability.”
In recent years, the city has persistently tried to tackle traffic problems.
Stating that Istanbul’s rail system is expanding, Baracci said traffic congestion will be overcome only when public transportation is sufficiently widespread.
According to IETT figures, Istanbul offers public transport services to more than 3.5 million passengers every day. Around one million people are carried via nine different urban railway lines.
Serving more than 14 million inhabitants, public transport in Istanbul makes up 30 percent of the city's total daily transportation.