Global Metro Monitor 2014, a study released by the US research center, Brookings Institution, places four Turkish cities on the list of the world’s top ten cities in terms of economic growth, most of which are cities in the Asia-Pacific region.
This increase, measured in terms of annual GDP and employment growth, positions Turkey’s four biggest population centers, Izmir, Istanbul, Ankara and Bursa, among the world’s best performers. Of the four, Izmir stands in front, followed by Istanbul, Bursa and Ankara (number nine).
As a point of interest, these are the four cities that have experienced the highest rates of employment growth of all the cities on the list.
So, it seems no mere coincidence that public transportation improvements and modernization work are in alignment with big cities’ economic recovery plans.
Izmir is home to over 4 million inhabitants and the front runner in terms of absolute job growth. It boasts a modern public transportation network thick with metro, boat and bus lines.
ESHOT is a provider responsible for carrying 500,000 passengers on the more than 300 different routes in its bus and boat network today. ESHOT’s name offers some historical significance in terms of it’s former responsibility in managing power, water, and gas.
Managing resources on this scale and giving citizens the best service is no easy matter, but ESHOT has successfully conducted several major upgrades, such as the introduction of an electronic transportation service payment system in 1999 in partnership with the Turkish company, Kentkart; a program launched in 2000 to transform the transportation offer, oriented toward restructuring the public transportation service and thus boosting use; and a new price policy introduced in 2008.
In the spirit of ongoing improvement, ESHOT is now looking into the possibility of working with an expert planning company whose systems and expertise would enable ESHOT to tackle new planning improvements, such as schedule synchronization and improved resource utilization. The results would yield benefits for both users and ESHOT’s own employees.
While Izmir utilizes boats, a metro system, and commuter trains, Istanbul adds a deeper level of complexity to the mix, as it manages nearly five times the number of buses. With more than 6,200 vehicles, the biggest urban bus fleet in Europe enjoys a transportation system aimed at moving the maximum number of passengers, navigating through heavy traffic in a city whose inhabitants and visitors cross several times a day from Asia to Europe, and from Europe to Asia.
This complex transportation operation and all its associated systems are orchestrated by IETT, a municipal transportation company that manages public and private buses, and a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) that is the second largest in the world after Transmilenio. This being the third largest in terms of passengers carried after Guangzhou BRT. Transmilenio and Guangzhou are in fact two of the BRTs that Goal Systems works with. Goal Systems has been working with Transmilenio since 2000, and it recently conducted studies based on GoalBus® performance for Guangzhou.
For the many strides it has made in ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems), IETT also relies on Turkish companies like Isbak, a government-owned firm that has taken on numerous transportation projects, and Verisun, whose Mobiett appliation gives IETT users all the information they need about schedules, routes and stops right on their cell phones.
Additionally, Istanbul is not lagging in it’s plans for ongoing improvement and innovation, either. It is a regular attendee at international transportation forums headlined by the world’s leading companies, in which Istanbul shares its achievements and concerns. It also encourages dialogue with universities and high-tech firms through events that IETT itself organizes, such as the Transist symposium, where one of the main topics will be planning, an area in which Goal Systems will participate as an expert advisor.
Similar to Izmir and Istanbul, Ankara manages its transportation systems through a municipal company. EGO handles the entire transportation needs of the Capital, which include trains, shuttle buses between bus and metro stops, city buses and even cable cars. In 2014 Ankara also successfully began phasing in a smartcard payment system. The AnkaraKart smartcard system, developed by the Turkish company e-Kent, gives Ankara, like Izmir and Istanbul, a single system for buses, metro trains, Ankaray and cable cars. Another significant achievement is the installation of a system allowing mobile devices access to information such as waiting times at stops, in order to make using public transportation easier.
As part of its strategic four-year plan, EGO has created a special office devoted to optimizing resources, and towards that goal, is considering including an advanced planning system to handle its vast fleet.
In short, although only these 3 cities are mentioned here, we could talk about plenty of other projects, such as the introduction of the country´s second BRT in Sanliurfa, with the support of the great institution Embarq Turkey.
Turkey is setting an example in the modernization of complex transportation systems, and Goal Systems is working of this prolific market.