In the wake of the rising cost of fuel in Turkey, the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality has increased the price of public transportation by 51.5 percent, coming as yet another blow to the people of the country’s most populated city amid constant price hikes in the country.
The decision was made by the municipality’s Transportation Coordination Center (UKOME) following a meeting on Tuesday morning.
With the new increases, the price of an adult ticket for public transportation has been increased from TL 9.90 to TL 15, while the price of a student ticket has risen from TL 4.83 to TL 7.32.
Taxi rides in the city have also become more expensive as fares have been increased by 75 percent. The minimum fare for rides of less than 2.5 kilometers has been increased from TL 40 to TL 70, while the charge for yellow taxis now stands at 19.17 lira at the start of the ride, with an additional 13.75 lira per kilometer.
The rise in taxi fares, however, has not pleased the Istanbul Taxi Professionals Chamber, which demanded a price hike of 100 percent.
The chamber’s president, Eyüp Aksu, said it is impossible for taxi drivers to continue working since the price hike in taxi fares is insufficient to meet their expenses.
The municipality’s secretary-general Buğra Gökçe said the municipality was desperate to enact the price hike in public transportation due to the rising cost of transportation but added that they are not happy about it, either.
The İstanbul Municipality is run by Ekrem İmamoğlu from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
Turks are frequently hit by price hikes and tax increases in the wake of skyrocketing inflation and the continuous depreciation of the Turkish lira.
Last month, the Turkish government increased the tax on fuel. The tax for gasoline was increased to 7.52 lira per liter from 2.52 lira, while the tax on diesel rose to 7.05 lira from 2.05 lira.
Turkey’s annual inflation, which was on downward trend for several months, has begun to rise again and stood at 47.83 percent in July, according to official data, although a separate study released by independent economists from the Inflation Research Group (ENAG) who question the official data put the July figure at 122.88 percent, up from 108.6 percent in June.
The lira has lost more than 80 percent of its value since 2018 and has shed more than 28 percent in 2023, pushing up prices of a broad range of goods from fuel to food in the import-dependent country.
The lira was trading at 29.5 versus the greenback in the afternoon on Tuesday.