Buses: Essential for a city like Tehran



When the weather gets warmer and warmer, the difference in the quality of buses in Tehran becomes more evident. Passengers complain that sometimes they have to wait 40 minutes for the bus to arrive, though Tehran Bus Transport Company says the average waiting time for a bus in Tehran is 15 minutes.


But the CEO of Tehran Bus Transport Company admits that it must be reduced. To do so Tehran needs to have 9000 buses on its lines.


Currently there are 6500 buses running in Tehran; 45% of them are over 8 years old. Tehran Bus Transport says every day 300 buses are sent to repair shops and 500 buses should annually be eliminated.


Tehran Bus Transport Company turnover is $13 million (at Governmental Exchange Rate) which according to its managers is not enough to invest in buying new vehicles.


A new bus (with its subsidiaries and lower exchange rate) would costs $230 thousands for the Municipality of Tehran who is owning the company. To buy 2500 new vehicles, $575 million budget is needed.


The solution seems to be at the hand of the private sector. At the moment 4000 buses circulating in Tehran are private owned. The municipality of Tehran suggests that when the Government does not have enough resources to provide new vehicles, why not inviting the private investors and their payment will be based on the distance the bus drives.


Typically bus ticket in Tehran costs 25 US Cents and it can be used for one trip only.