Tehran to shift from cars to trams

Trams in Tehran

The Tehran City Council is set to make a pivotal decision regarding the introduction of tramways in the city, a move that has sparked both support and criticism among officials. But what would Trams in Tehran look like?

Tramways, or electric trains, are a form of urban rail transit that operates on tracks embedded in city streets. They are lighter than subway cars and are primarily used for passenger transport. With the ability to transport a significant number of passengers and the proximity of its stations to each other, tramways are seen as a cost-effective and efficient mode of public transportation.

According to Tehran’s Mayor, Alireza Zakani, there are plans to construct an 18-kilometer tramway at an estimated cost of $200 million. This initiative is part of the city’s broader strategy to electrify its public transportation system, moving away from fossil fuels and towards cleaner energy sources. Additionally, the city aims to complete lines 6 and 7 of the metro system this year and commence the construction of new lines.

Not everyone in favor!

However, the proposal has not been without its detractors. Mohsen Hashemi, former head of Tehran’s City Council, expressed skepticism about the feasibility of the project, suggesting that it’s not rational at the current time and questioning the timeline proposed by the current city management.

In response, Mayor Zakani criticized Hashemi’s remarks, emphasizing the global trend towards adopting such transportation models and dismissing the criticisms as baseless.

The tramway project is expected to be a collaborative effort, with Tehran’s municipality signing an agreement with the Ministry of Defense. Parviz Sarvari, Deputy Head of Tehran’s City Council, highlighted the magnitude of the project, stating that its dimensions need thorough discussion and evaluation.

Based on reports, three tramway lines have been proposed, with routes spanning from Lavizan to Jannat Abad, Payaneh Shargh to Tehran Pars, and from the University of Science and Research to Khavaran.

Thoughts on Trams in Tehran

Mehdi Pirhadi, a member of Tehran’s City Council, mentioned that most council members support the tramway initiative, and after further evaluations, the project will move to the execution phase.

The tramway concept isn’t new to Tehran. As highlighted by Meysam Mazzafar, another council member, tramways have been anticipated as a transportation solution since 2008, with four tramway lines proposed in 2019, though they were not approved by the Ministry of Interior.

Mohammad Aghamiri, another council member, stated that the tramway routes have been proposed and a decision will be made soon. If approved, the tramway is expected to significantly reduce air pollution in the city and increase passenger transportation capacity.

Tramways have been successfully implemented in various global cities, including Geneva, San Francisco, Melbourne, Vienna, Budapest, Amsterdam, and Blackpool in England.

Tramways in Tehran, A History!

Historically, the concept of a tram or metro system in Tehran has its roots in the mid-20th century. The first comprehensive urban plan for Tehran, conducted in 1958, included discussions about railway transportation for the city.

By 1971, the study of the urban transport situation was assigned to the French company Sufreto by the municipality of Tehran. However, while initial plans for the metro system were laid out in the late 1960s, actual execution did not commence until 1982.

This delay was due to various socio-political challenges, including the Iranian Revolution and the Iran-Iraq war. The growing urban population in 1985 exerted pressure on the city to establish a public transport system, leading to further developments in the metro project. Over the years, Tehran’s metro system has evolved, with various expansions and improvements to cater to the city’s transportation needs.