Stuttgart, 30 January 2009. The Metrobus project of the Istanbul city council was recently honoured with a prize at the Sustainable Transport Awards in Washington D.C. This prize is awarded to projects which reduce greenhouse gases and improve the quality of life in the city centres of large metropolises worldwide.
The jury's decision highlighted the fact that the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) concept, which was launched in Istanbul in 2007, took on a pioneering role when compared with other comparable large cities. The BRT line originally connected the city's districts of Avcilar in the northwest part of Istanbul and Topkapi in the centre of the city and, after receiving widespread acceptance from passengers, was expanded with a Topkapi – Zincirlikuyu connection in 2008. This expansion increased the 17-kilometre line to 29 kilometres. The buses drive in their own lanes at an average speed of 40 km/h and have shortened the daily commute from 1.5 hours to 40 minutes.
The BRT system transports more than 530,000 passengers per day. This means 70,000 to 80,000 fewer individuals driving in heavy urban traffic in Turkey. A regular-service bus such as the CapaCity requires per passenger between 0.3 to 0.4 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, thus contributing greatly to reducing CO2 emissions. The much discussed CO2 emissions are directly dependent on the amount of fuel consumed.