Transportation in Iranian cities

October 26, 2016
iran-cities-transport

When you arrive at Imam Khomeini International airport, around 30 kilometers out of Tehran, there are taxis and subway to get you to the city. If you know how to use a shuttle or shared taxi or metro to get around in Iranian metropolises, you are steps ahead. There are several ways for transportation that you can have a look at them here:

 

If you are indoor and you do not want to trouble yourself  by finding your destination step by step, your probable option could be these:

 

Agency taxis

Ajaans (in Farsi) or telephone taxis are services provided by agencies which you can call by phone and ask for a ride. the prices start from 6,000 Tomans for the shortest routes and it goes higher for farther destinations. automobiles working for an ajaans should carry their respective agency’s sign on their roof.

Online taxi services

Currently, there are two applications available in Tehran. You can download each of them, Snapp or Tap30, on your android or iOS handset. The procedure is easy, you only need to pin your starting point and destination on the map and wait for the closest driver to call you.  These apps work like Uber, so all the prices are fixed and since the driver’s personal information as a phone number is registered on the app, you do not need to worry for mishaps such as leaving a purse behind.

 

But if you are on the streets, your options are among these:

Taxis

There are yellow or green cabs around cities which work for taxi companies under the supervision of municipalities. You can charter them or just get into a taxi stand to leap into a cab with three other passengers. Taxis travel between more known places and have stops at famous meydans (squares) and roads. There are also private cabs, called savaari, which are doing the same as yellow cabs but do not work for any taxi company. The practical difference is that savaaris do not follow the prices regulations necessarily.

Private taxi

If you are calling an empty taxi in the street, the first thing you need to do is clarifying that you want to charter it, so you should say: Darbast! (it is a phrase for chartering a cab)

Then ask the driver how much does it cost? Or say “Cheqadr mishe?” in Farsi. The driver offers a price and you can suggest %60 of it. You can haggle but be prepared to pay for 75 to 85 percent of the first price.

Shared taxi

You want to get a shuttle taxi you can get in a queue in a taxi stand for your destination or step into the road and shout your destination to every taxi which has a spare seat. the driver will give you the signal if he is interested or not. Try to use the most significant addresses around your target to shout, e.g. Meydan-e Ferdowsi.

When it is time to get off the vehicle say “merci, piade misham.” It means mercy, I get off. To pay the taxi fee ask: “Cheqad mishe?” which means how much does it cost? Or you can see how much the passengers pay the driver. Government-regulated fees range from few cents to few dollars, starting from 1,000 to 4,000 Tomans.

Taxis and savaaris are also available for travel between cities which you can at terminals or major meydans in cities.

a taxi stand in Tehran

 

Bus

Due to being so slow, old buses would not be your first choice because, in Iranian metropolises such as Tehran, you can use BRTs (Bus Rapid Transition) with 10 lines, using especial routes to connect different part of the city to each other. But first, you need to obtain a rechargeable EZPAY card without any documents from booths near BRT stations. It is also possible to pay for your subway tickets by EZPAYs or obtain them from metro stations. there are also vending machines that sell the cards or let you recharge your card. every travel costs 800 Tomans (~ $0.2).

Buses are also available for traveling between cities. In Tehran, there are five terminals that provide suppliers which can sell you tickets. It depends on where you want to go then you can decide which terminal can help you. There are different classes of buses which charge you accordingly.

Tehran's BRT lines

Metro

There are several cities such as Tehran, Karaj, Isfahan, etc. that have metro beneath the city. Metros can save a great deal of time for you and save you from congested traffics. If you are interested in using Tehran’s five metro lines, you can obtain a rechargeable EZPAY card which offers a %30 discount on every way of your travel, unless you want to buy a one-way for 700 Tomans (~ $0.2) or two-way ticket for 1,100 Tomans (~ $0.3) from the booths in metro stations. you can also recharge your card in metro stations. Booths or  machines are available for doing so.

Tehran metro station

Tehran Metro lines

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2 Comments

  • Reply Tunis June 13, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Arian, thanks for your posts.
    I want to visit tehran for few days, will arrive with airasia midnight and decide to stay in the airport until morning. From airport, which metro or bus should I take to the city, I am a backpacker, so taxi is not in my list. Thank you.

    • Reply Arian Sohrabi July 22, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      I would like to say that you can wait for the bus outside the main entrance because it comes and goes there on an hourly basis, but ive recently found out you can not rely on that anymore.
      So take your chance and ask someone on how you can go to Imam Khomeini Metro station.
      Or use Snapp which is an online taxi service that will charge you 48,000 Tomans, which is fare.

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