Historical supply of mass transit stations in Istanbul from 1988

Istanbul, like many other cities around the world, boasted an extensive tramway system in the first half of the twentieth century. However, by 1966 all the lines had been dismantled to make way for vehicle traffic. As the city grew rapidly in the 1970’s traffic jams and pollution became a common ailment and affected productivity as well as the burgeoning tourism sector.

In the eighties only one form of mass transit existed which was the old funicular line linking Karaköy and Beyoğlu which had been operating since 1875.

The government aimed to rectify this situation and embarked upon the development of a wide range of mass transit operations. There are nearly 280 stations now in service in 2021. More development is expected over the coming years with new lines and extensions of existing ones.

Chart – Number of stations for each mass transit category since 1988

Mass transit stations Istanbul supply number 1988
Source: CityTravelGo research


1/ Where a station serves two or more lines, each station for each line is included in the figures.

2/ The Marmaray line is a suburban railway line.  Due to the frequency and appearance similar to a metro line, the stations have been included. Many of the stations were operating prior to the Marmaray but the service was limited. Stations were in poor condition and there was no connection between the Asia and European sides of the old lines.

3/ The T4 tram line is counted as metro/light rail. Almost all the track is right-of-way with only a few level crossings where the track interacts with the road. In fact much of the line is underground.

4/ The Metrobus (bus rapid transit) has been included as it operates totally as a mass transit system. The system has dedicated lines (apart from bridges), fully fledged stations and very high service frequency.

Istanbul Transport mass transit stations