City buses cover a great part of the city but they are not suggested them for tourists. They are slow, make too many stops and English information is limited. Keep in mind that in these buses women sit in the back and men in the front. Women can pay when getting off by going to the drivers section.
BRT buses in Tehran are express buses with their own special route. They are red, don’t get stuck in traffic and go through the main avenues of the city. The most practical route is the one connecting the railway station to Tajrish square. It goes through Tehran’s longest street Valiasr and makes stops in some of the city’s main squares. Payment is normally done at the entrance of the station. If not, you’re required to pay the driver in person. Having a metro card would really make your life easier.
In these buses women are seated in the front and men in the back. English information is available and everything is pretty straight forward. The great thing about public transportation in Iran is that people are extremely willing to help out tourists. You don’t even have to ask. You’re muddled gesture will already have Iranians asking you whether you’re in need of help or not!
Moving around Tehran drives you crazy! Too much crowd, traffic, noise and pollution may dishearten you to take the plunge and have an insider experience; however, visiting Tehran is a “must”! It is not only the political capital of Iran, but also a beautiful city with variety of lifestyles and cultures unrivaled in Iran.
To get over the hustle and bustle you can use public transport such as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and subway system. Though public transport is not an optimal option, it is the most efficient. In this article, I share practical information about Bus rapid Transit in Tehran.
You can also read about Tehran metro and how it works.
Bus Rapid Transit in Tehran
Using BRT System in Tehran Is Efficient!
BRT system in capital enjoys a spread network throughout the city with lots of bus stops which makes its usage highly accessible for people. It also has appropriate connections with tourist highlights such as Grand Bazaar of Tehran and Saad Abad Palace. Besides, all the bus stops have shelters and a place to sit.
A BRT Stop in Tehran
Tehran enjoys 10 BRT lines spread throughout the city from north to south and east to west, in service 24/7. It also gets connected to subway lines of 1, 2, and 4 in some particular stops. Special lanes are dedicated to BRT buses to let them move fast and avert the traffic. There is also rational distance between bus stops, on average 400m and more on major highways.
Since there are plenty of buses dedicated to the BRT network, average waiting time for a bus is just few minutes. The waiting time varies depending on the line, time of the day, and weather! In the worst case scenario, the bus will shows up within 10 or 15 minutes (specially the night shift).
Using Bus in Tehran Is Cheap!
Recently, the network redesign and public bus modernization has enabled a more efficient integrated bus network in the capital including utilization of smart cards to be purchased in the particular kiosks near the bus stops and their stored value topped up at machines in the terminals. Those smart cards are usable in the subway system too.
Bus fare is very affordable. Using smart cards, it only costs for one way trip about 5000 Rials (as of March 2017, 1 Euro equals to 41000 Rials!).
BRT Smart Card
Getting on and off Follows a Simple Protocol!
In the stop, you only need to “touch-on” with your card at a lime green colored “reader” until you heard a “beep” at the entrance of the stop. Then, you can pass by. If you happen not to have smart cart with you offer cash to the operator. Operators are not permitted to accept cash, but in most cases they let you get through without paying. Offering cash shows your sincerity to pay!
When getting off, you don’t need to push a button to have the driver to stop. They have to stop at each stop with no exception. In rare cases, when there is no one waiting for the bus at the stop, the driver calls out to see if someone wants to get off. If no one replies, the driver usually keeps on going.
Buses Are Segregated!
The doors for getting on the bus and the inside space for men and women are separated; the larger buses has three doors, the first two are for women to get on the bus and the last for men. Inside, the front section belongs to women and the end of the bus to men. The good point is, on all buses, there are spaces for accommodating wheelchairs.
Men are forbidden to occupy women seats but it is not uncommon for women to sit or stand in men-only space. So, if you are a mixed group of women and men, no worries let the females join you in men’s space.
Bus Rapid Transit in Tehran
Bus Routes in Tehran, Easy to Grasp
If you are not familiar with the routes, just head to the maps which are placed in the stops and also above the bus doors. Those maps encompass the entire area served by the bus system with different color and orientation for each route.
Here are is a table including each route’s specifics as you can see below:
BRT Lines in Tehran
And Final Words!
BRT system compared with other transportation means in Tehran is a safe, fast and efficient way to get around Tehran and experience a routine day in the capital city. However, using BRT system is not recommended in rush hours, particularly in downtown areas.