TM Plans Loans to Renovate Tehran’s Aging Taxi Fleet

TM Plans Loans to Renovate Tehran’s Aging Taxi FleetTM Plans Loans to Renovate Tehran’s Aging Taxi Fleet

Tehran Municipality, in cooperation with Bank Shahr Bank (city bank), is offering easy loans to cabbies in the latest effort to renovate the capital’s aging taxi fleet.

Speaking to state-run IRIB News Agency, Seyyed Jafar Tashakori Hashemi, deputy for traffic and transportation affairs at the TM, said the loans will be offered at the same 16-18% interest rate as the auto loans offered by the government last November.

Clunkers way past their service life clutter city streets and are said to be responsible for a staggering 80% of the air pollution. Taxis, which hardly account for 2% of the public transportation fleet, contribute a whopping 18% to the air pollution.

There are roughly 7,000 old Paykan taxis plying the streets of the metropolis.

“These cars emit pollutants twice their weight,” Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said in December, adding that “we have the laws to curb pollution, the problem is enforcing them.”

Calling the expansion of the metro system “TM’s most important measure to battle the air pollution,” Hashemi said it is imperative for government entities — such as the Department of Environment and the health and oil ministries — to also do their fair share.

According to Qalibaf, the number of metro stations has increased from 33 in 2005, when he took office, to more than 100 today.

The municipality is expected to add another 160 metro stations by March 2018.

 Further Measures

Hashemi said encouraging Tehranis to use bicycles, adding hybrid and electric buses to the public transportation fleet, and renovating old buses are among the municipality’s other measures.

This is while the absence of bicycle lanes across the city makes riding a bike a suicide mission, given the careless driving of the average car owner.

In an effort to replace old, highly-polluting motorcycles equipped with carburetor engines, “we’re going to offer loans to people who opt to buy electric motorcycles,” he said, adding that the municipality has already secured a budget for this purpose.

Furthermore, the TM has proposed a bill to the city council which aims to scrap road tax for electric motorcycles.

“We’ve also asked them to approve a bill that bans old motorcycles from the city center.”

Tehran’s streets are littered with highly polluting motorcycles whose emissions are five times greater than the average car in Tehran.

The air pollution committee at the DOE approved a measure earlier this month that would finally put an end to the production of substandard motorcycles equipped with outdated carburetors. If approved by the Cabinet, the ban will go into effect in mid-September.

While Iran commemorated National Clean Air Day on Tuesday, residents of Tehran endured yet another polluted and smog-covered day in the capital, where air quality reached 114 —more than twice the acceptable limit set by the World Health Organization.