Tehran’s municipality plans to spend as much as $10 billion as part of a five-year plan to upgrade the capital’s infrastructure and keep up with population growth, an Iranian official said.
“This may be a great leap,” said Hojat Behrooz, assistant to the deputy mayor for transportation. “But with the deficiencies that exist in Tehran’s public transport, if it isn’t done we will certainly run into problems.”
More than 70 percent of the investment would be dedicated to doubling Tehran’s existing metro network to cover 300 kilometers, Behrooz said. Adding 3,500 new vehicles to the city’s bus fleet is also part of the plan, he said.
Tehran’s municipality has been in talks with officials from China for the construction of 150 kilometers of metro lines and the purchase of some of the 2,300 metro wagons needed for the city, Behrooz said. Iran is generally keen to resume business cooperation with Europeans companies in light of a temporary easing of economic sanctions against the Persian Gulf nation, he added.
“Given changes at the international community level and good discussions we have had with French and German companies recently, we hope to be able to benefit once again from European companies’ potential in developing our metro lines,” Behrooz said.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 29, 2014, on page 5.