People, Environment

Tehran Bus Company lacking funds

Tehran Bus Company lacking fundsTehran Bus Company lacking funds

Encouraging the private sector to invest in Iran’s public transportation infrastructure is imperative to the successful expansion of the network, according to the director of the Tehran office of Management and Planning Organization.

Speaking to Mehr News Agency, Nematollah Torki said a comprehensive review of the capital’s public transport fleet shows that the metropolis lacked 5,000 buses.

“The Tehran Bus Company says they lack the funds to expand the fleet, so we’ve taken up the matter with private companies,” he said.

Recalling a recent meeting with potential investors, Torki said the discussions were encouraging but stressed that the national public transport fleet, not just Tehran’s, can and should benefit from the private sector involvement.

“We asked them to consider investing in other provinces,” he said, adding that the main topic of discussion was expanding Tehran’s bus fleet. The MPO official did not provide details nor name companies that would be interested in investing in the huge public transport industry that so far has attracted few if any big players.

Public transport in Iran, especially in metropolises such as Tehran, has failed to keep pace with the growing population and is unable of catering to the daily needs of the growing number of commuters. There is a permanent and irritating shortage of buses and taxis in almost all big cities despite access to subways in a few large urban areas.

The intracity travel dilemma has forced people to purchase overpriced and low quality domestically-made cars that contribute a staggering 80% to Tehran’s air pollution.