Nowadays, main part of transfer process of people between different urban regions or in the country takes place through public transportation. On the other hand, with cities become larger and increase made in their numbers of residents, many regions in the country are facing with population increase, and passages and roads being crowded. With immersion of public transportation in Iran and evolution made in peoples transfer method, gradually the method has turned to one of the most appropriate mechanisms for urban and suburban trips and great part of urban residents and/or those intended to travel to different destinations prefer not to use personal vehicles and to use public transportation instead, to compensate their needs.
In continuation, we are going to take a look at public transportation in Iran; then, one of the most cost effective methods of travel would be studied.
History of public transportation in Iran
Structural evolutions in the country’s transportation goes back to about 120 years ago; when upon order by Amir Kabir in 1898 military navy has been created and transportation has been organized in macro level for the first time.
In 1906, Department of Roads and Streets has been established and then in 1922, it has been organized as a general department in Ministry of Commerce of that period of time. Then, in 1930, all affairs related to the roads have been separated from aforementioned ministry and an independent ministry began its work, accordingly.
In forties and fifties (AH) also main changes has been made in organization and arrangement of Ministry of Road; and, in 1974 and based on the law, it has been assigned with more comprehensive and expanded tasks to do, transportation being at top of them. This expansion of tasks finally resulted in formation of Deputy Office of Road Transportation branch.
Later, Iran Transportation and Terminals Organization has been established and tasks related to road transportation has been transferred from Ministry of Roads to this organization. Finally, through minor changes, name of the organization has been changed to Iran Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization.
Currently, the organization has some deputy offices called “Deputy Office for Road Maintenance”, “Deputy Office for Transportation”, “Deputy Office for Development of Management and Resources”, etc. As stipulated in job description of Deputy Office for Transportation, supervision, study, and feasibility study of road transportation fleet of the country is responsibility of the office as for its optimization, supervising creation of required facilities as for more active presence of non-governmental sector in transportation industry, as well as supervising adjustment and formulation of policies related to commodity and passenger transfer based on evolutionary level of cargo and passenger, in addition to numbers and specifications of road transportation.
Advantages of public transportation in Iran
Many people believe that using public transportation is not enjoyable to the extent that travelling with personal car is; however, its advantages has turned it to the best method of transportation and travel for huge numbers of people in society.
Using public transportation at first instance causes reduction of air pollution whether in urban areas, or through the path between cities. Also, it is less expensive compared to usage made of personal car for every person. In fact, personal car is of more advantage when the seats are filled with passengers; however, as observed many urban trips are performed with single passenger.
The issue of expenses can be different based on type of transportation vehicle; however, in most cases public transportation in Iran is cost effective. Using taxis, mini vans, buses, intercity trains, and etc. can create considerable changes in cost of transportation of passengers.
Using public transportation in Iran not only would be resulted in reduction of costs paid by people; but also, in some cases savings would be made in different aspects. For example, with the possibility of online ticket reservation and purchase from websites, saving would be made in time and costs of passengers. Time to time discounts based on seasonal conditions or those for school and university students can make the method more attractive.
Facilities considered for many public transportation vehicles in the country increases pleasure of travelling for you. You would be able to listen to the music you like, see the films you are interested in, use WiFi internet, and be hosted with snacks and warm foods in suburban travels so that your positive view would be gained regarding this method of travel.
Public transportation by bus
Based on statistics, annually about 170 million people in Iran use public transportation for their travels; so, it can be suggested that each of Iranian individuals averagely uses the bus two times a year for travelling between two cities. The number has been estimated based on transportation document and considering passengers getting in the buses out of terminals, the number may increase.
Meanwhile, bus transportation compared to other public road transportation methods is of high importance i.e. based on estimated statistics, 83% of intercity travels are performed by buses which are considerable, compared to rail and air transportation.
In terms of number of seats also, based on available information, 14579 buses, 21066 minibuses, and 27082 passenger cars are available for suburban travels.
Calculating capacity of each of vehicles and considering total numbers of seats, almost one million seats are available in public transportation sector in Iran. According to the same statistics, nearly 120000 drivers are active in public transportation sector in Iran, trafficking between the cities. From among the number, 37000 individuals are bus drivers; and, almost 12000 of them are bus owners. Meanwhile, about 3000 individuals are employed by transportation companies.
Minibusses in Iran are almost extinct since the bus system has improved in the recent years, except in some less developed areas of the city. The buses of Iran’s transportation system is modern and well working and the system usually uses two systems of buses called VIP busses and typicall busses. They have different prices and you can choose them every time you want considering your budget. Albeit both are not expensive for foreign people of Europe and USA or countries which have strong currencies. You can book a ticket by terminals or applications and websites which serve it.
Main part of passenger transportation by bus is done by official passenger companies having branches in terminals in different cities. From among the most popular passenger companies, reference can be made to:
Levan Tour, Seir-o Safar, Peik-e Saba, Mihan Tour, Imen Safar, Giti Payma, Javan Seire Isar, Hamsafar, Royal Safar, Tarabar Bita, Asia Safar, Iran Payma, Tak Safar, Jahan Gasht, Peik-e Motamed, and Aria Safar
How to use bus for travel?
Currently, about 120 passenger terminals are available in cities all around the country, rendering services to the passengers. In some cities like Tehran with four and Isfahan with 3 passenger terminals, there is more transportation capacity available. Passenger terminals in Terhan are Beyhaghi (Argantine) Terminal, South Terminal (Khazaneh), East Terminal (Tehran Pars), and West Terminal (Azadi).
However, if the city you are residing in is not among the list of passenger terminals available, please do not be concerned as most of the buses may pass through communication roads around you. Making required arrangements, you can use these buses as public transportation in Iran. Also, there is possibility of travelling to some of the cities in neighbor countries including Batumi and Tbilisi in Georgia.
To buy bus ticket for all of the routes, you can use websites or online ticket sales applications and/or refer in person to passenger cooperatives in terminals to receive your ticket. In general, ticket cost and/or types of buses do not differ in online purchase or that performing in person; and, both methods can suite you. One of the centers making the procedure simple for you is www.vacationtoiran.com that solves the problem of finding ticket for you through services like online ticket reservation. The center is specialized and familiar with different issues in relation to bus lines as its special characteristics.
The only point to be remembered when buying ticket is correct selection of the points of origin and destination as well as the seat you are willing to make use of. Window seats help you to enjoy the perspective during travel; however, based on researches performed those seats in the middle part of the bus are more safe.
Which buses to choose?
Choosing type of the bus and its specification can play an important role in your travel experience. In Iranian transportation fleet, there are three types of buses available that could be prone to change based on the route and selected cooperative company.
First category includes usual buses with four columns of seats arranged with two seats in each side of the bus and a passage through them. The total seat number in these buses can be 40 or 50 depending on the number of rows. They are of high capacity; however, the reclining seats cannot be used in them due to little space available between the rows. So, they are not suggested as for long and frustrating paths.
Second types of the buses (VIP) are somehow considered as luxury and comfortable in public transportation in Iran. These types of buses are manufactured by such companies as Volvo, Benz, Scania, and Mann; and, they have three columns of seats. This is why; they are called single seat buses, as well. Number of seats in these types can be 22 or 25.
Third categories of buses are classic ones or semi-VIP buses. They in fact are something between normal and VIP buses. The space between the rows is little like that of normal buses; however, they have one single seat column like VIP buses.
Selecting the bus appropriate for your travel is difficult due to the related cost and time schedules. Most of people in these centers do not know foreign languages. However, there is nothing to be concerned about, as there are some centers as www.vacationtoiran.com than you can contact with so that talking in English, they can suggest you concerned bus or make reservation for you based on your time schedule.
From friendly people to the fascinating history, the most forlorn deserts, green mountains, islands, and numerous different things, gradually, voyagers are understanding that Iran is a definitive goal to travel and experience something new. For persons who want to travel to a beautiful country in Middle East and observe the way Islamic culture and people is, Iran is a unique destination. Although being an Islamic country means that Iran has its quirks and you should know something about it before traveling, but luckily the security of the country in comparision with countries around it, and the great airports and transportation system which is used in every city easily, are two benefits for proving that Iran is better place to travel rather than others in Middle East.
In general, public transportation status in Iran has gone under considerable growth, during past years, especially for long intercity routes. Currently, many areas within the country can be reached using well-equipped and high quality public transportation fleet. If not experience traveling Iranian cities with bus, you are suggested to consider it for your next visit to the country so that its positive points would be felt by you.
One of the centers providing you with precise consultation about time of departure of buses and ticket reservation methods in Iran is www.vacationtoiran.com. Contacting them, you can book your ticket, be informed of exact departure time, and adapt your program to departure schedule of the buses so that you travel more easily in this vast country.