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Public Transportation in Istanbul

The metropolis of Istanbul has a very extensive public transportation system so that you can easily go from anywhere to any other point through this system. There is a wide variety of public transportation in Istanbul. For this reason, in order to guide Turkish immigrants (both Turkish citizenship applicants and Turkish temporary residence permit applicants), we decided to examine the different methods of public transportation in Istanbul in this article.

Istanbul Public Transportation is generally divided into three main sections: sea transport, rail transport, and road transport, which allocates about 4.5%, 18.5%, and 77% of Istanbul transport, respectively. Istanbul’s extensive and powerful public transportation system handles more than 15 million passengers daily.

You can use the Istanbul Card (public transport smart card) to pay for government vehicles (such as Metrobus), but you will have to pay in cash for private vehicles (such as Minibus / Dolmush).

Maritime Transportation

Due to the existence of several seas in Istanbul, one of the public transportation routes is the sea route, which was first started in 1851. There are currently 49 ferries operating at 82 Istanbul naval stations.

As mentioned, the lowest amount of public transport in Istanbul belongs to maritime transport.

Railroad Transportation


The train is one of Istanbul’s public transport services, which has been operating since 2013. Currently, 2 trains serve passengers at 42 stations.


Subway has been operating as one of the best and fastest means of public transportation in Istanbul since 1989. Currently, 9 subway lines at 90 different stations serve passengers within the city of Istanbul. In 5 subway lines, service is provided around the clock.

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Trams are another means of public transportation in Istanbul, which has been operating since 1871. There are currently 5 tram lines and 83 stations in Istanbul.

Road Transportation


The first Istanbul city bus line started in 1869. There are currently a total of about 1,100 bus lines and 11,750 bus stops in Istanbul. Some of these bus lines, which operate in busy areas such as Taksim Square, are also ready to serve passengers from 12 am to 6 am.

Metrobus (BRT)

Metrobus, the BRT, has been operating in Istanbul since 2007. There are currently 9 metrobus lines operating in Istanbul, some of which operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are a total of 47 distinct metrobus stations located on a route approximately 50 km long; The westernmost station is in Buyukcekmece (European part of Istanbul) and the easternmost is in Uskudar (Asian part of Istanbul).

Minibus / Dolmush

Another public transport in Istanbul is the minibus/dolmush, which can be seen almost everywhere in Istanbul. Because these vehicles are private, their fare is a bit higher, but they usually move very fast and take passengers to their destination immediately. There are currently 314 lines and 8834 stations for minibus/dolmush in Istanbul.


Another form of public transportation in Istanbul is taxis, which are more expensive than other methods, but easier and usually faster. Uber Taxi also operates in Istanbul, where you can request a taxi from it by specifying the origin and destination of your trip via your smartphone.


One of the most affordable and best ways of public transportation, especially for short distances, is to use a bicycle. Note that this does not require the purchase of a bicycle, but you can use companies that rent bicycles intelligently. IsBike, for example, is one of the companies with 1,500 bicycles and 140 rent stations in Istanbul.

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