Municipality of Tehran; short in finance

Tehran has several problems; public transportation and pollution are the highlights. Qanun daily reported about recent talks of increasing the cost of living in Tehran as a solution for some of these problems. The Deputy Mayor of Tehran Traffic, Mohsen Poor Seyyed Aghaii said: “The reason personal vehicles are used excessively in Tehran is that transportation tolls are very low in Tehran.” He added that developing public transportation requires more financial sources. Completion of Tehran’s seven subway lines and reducing the waiting time to three minutes need 220 thousand billion IRR ($6.2b). Furthermore, Tehran Metro is in need of 2800 new train cars. He continued that 10 thousand new buses are needed and 3700 buses must be decommissioned and replaced. Especially in district 22 which is not covered by any public transportation system.

If these financial resources are not secured, Tehran’s traffic problems will remain in place. In addition, investors are uninterested in investing in Tehran Metro as it operates at a loss. Mr. Poor Seyyed Aghaii said that Tehran Metro is operating at an annual loss of 7000 billion IRR and because of this its shares cannot be offered on the Bourse.

Regarding the excess workers in the Metro, he said: “Under previous management, in 2012, many redundant workers were hired and this was a violation and is currently under investigation by the National Inspection Organization and courts. Most of these hires were based on relations rather than regulations and we are currently seeking a solution to the issue. However, due to the development of other Metro lines, these people will not be fired”.

Other than the subject of traffic, the issue of the safety of the capital was also discussed. A board member of the Tehran City Council warned that Hospitals in Tehran are unsafe. Zahra Nejad Bahram said: “In districts 11 and 12, there are 243 unsafe zones and almost 90% of hospitals in Tehran are over 40 years old.”