According to the transportation research conducted by the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, the rate of public transportation in the city has decreased by half due to the pandemic. As a result of the 25 percent increase in private vehicle use, average speeds decreased and travel times increased.
Mayor Tunç Soyer said that Izmir should make a 'consensus' on the way to find solutions that will reduce the possible traffic load in autumn. Among Soyer's suggestions to the Governorship of İzmir, there is also the application of different working hours.
İzmir Metropolitan Municipality conducted a transportation research in order to determine the reasons and solutions of the increasing traffic in the city in recent months. It was determined that 44,3 percent of those who used public transportation every day before the pandemic did not change the frequency of use. The rate of those who moved away from public transportation due to epidemic concerns reached 55,7 percent in total. It was understood that 34,2 percent of this group decreased the frequency of use. The 21,5 percent segment is completely cut off from public transportation; it was understood that 53,6 percent of them started to use "private vehicles".
The number of private vehicles increased by 25 percent
In the evaluation made through the participants who benefited from the public transportation system every day before the pandemic, it was determined that there was an automobile entrance to the urban traffic at a rate varying between 24-26 percent. In other words, it was determined that one out of every 4 people who took advantage of public transportation before the pandemic now provided transportation with their private car.
IZUM also supports data
Izmir Transportation Center (IZUM) data, which is affiliated with Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, also reveals the increasing number of vehicles in the city. For example, the number of vehicles passing through Yeşildere Street, one of the busiest axes of the city, in one hour increased from an average of 5.447 in October last year to 6.544 in July this year. When compared to September 2019 and July 2020, it is seen that the number of vehicles in traffic increased by 20 percent. This situation also reduces the cruise speed. When compared between September 2019 and July 2020, it is stated that the average cruising speed in the main arteries has decreased by 11 percent. Accordingly, traffic density and travel times increase. It is seen that the average travel time increased by 17 percent in the same period.
The vote of confidence in public transportation
On the other hand, the survey also measured the satisfaction of those using public transportation. 77,9 percent of the participants stated that they are satisfied with the service quality. It was determined that practices such as the "Green Seat", maskematics, hand disinfection boxes for vehicles, stops and stations and social distance signs, which were implemented within the scope of pandemic measures, created 70 percent satisfaction.
Cleaning after each time
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer stated that the solution for increasing vehicle traffic is to minimize the use of private vehicles and said, “The necessity of using public transportation vehicles is obvious. There is great concern among our fellow countrymen due to the pandemic. However, I can confidently say that all our public transportation vehicles are cleaned and disinfected every day, after each trip. More detailed disinfection processes are carried out at the end of the day. Because we are also responsible for the health of our people and we are much more sensitive about it, especially during the pandemic period ”.
Soyer: Izmir has a controversy
President Soyer stated that with the opening of schools and the return of citizens living in other cities to the city due to seasonal reasons, a much more intense picture will be faced in the traffic. Noting that this difficulty can be overcome with common wisdom and solution-oriented participation, Soyer completed his words as follows: “I think that Izmir should discuss the practice of 'different working hours' that we see in the cities of the world in this very period. Everyone's working hours should not start and end at the same time. This puts a huge burden on traffic even in normal times, let alone the pandemic period. It causes serious trouble and time loss for our people. Going to such a practice will greatly reduce the intensity on our public transportation vehicles during peak hours. İzmir Governorship is the only institution that has authority, determination and guidance. It may be very good for our chambers of commerce and industry, our unions and related non-governmental organizations to come together under the coordination of our dear Governor Yavuz Selim Köşger. An emergency action plan to be prepared will be a solution to the traffic load and trouble that may occur during the winter months. Appreciation belongs to our Dear Governor. We submitted a file we prepared on this subject to him. "