The groundbreaking ceremony for a new metro line along the Üsküdar-Ümraniye-Çekmeköy route on Istanbul’s Asian side was held at Çekmeköy’s Madenler Square. İstanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş, Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Binali Yıldırım and executives from the Doğuş group—one of the country’s largest conglomerates and the group that won the tender for the metro project, participated in the ceremony.
The tender for the construction of the metro line was opened on Aug. 9, 2011. Fourteen companies bid for the project and the Doğuş group, which has interests in the construction, financial, food production and tourism sectors, won the tender with a bid of 564 million euros.
The new subway line, which will connect Üsküdar, Ümraniye and Çekmeköy, is the second metro line on İstanbul’s Asian side after the Kadıköy-Kartal line. The metro project is expected to significantly ease the heavy traffic congestions which İstanbul’s Asian residents have to endure every day.
The completed underground line will be 20 kilometers long and the project includes the construction of baseline tunnels, 16 metro stations, storage areas and 2.72 kilometers of connection tunnels. Construction is expected to be completed by April 2015.
The subway line is expected to reduce travel time from Çekmeköy-Sancaktepe to Üsküdar to just 24 minutes and to Taksim to 44 minutes. Travel time between Çekmeköy-Sancaktepe and the İstanbul Atatürk Airport will be reduced to 68 minutes via Marmaray, an undersea commuter tunnel that will link İstanbul’s Asian and European sides. With the new metro line, commuters will be able to travel from Çekmeköy-Sancaktepe to Kartal in 59 minutes and to Hacıosman in 68 minutes.