Infrastructure quality is key for improved passenger satisfaction

Veysi Kurt, Director General of TCDD Taşımacılık A.Ş., discusses how Turkey’s railway transport infrastructure has evolved over recent years and how the operator is now focusing on enhancing a number of services to achieve high quality passenger satisfaction.

Infrastructure quality is key for improved passenger satisfaction

Since 1 January 2017, TCDD Taşımacılık A.Ş. has been responsible for Turkey’s railway operations following the governmental restricting decision of Turkish Railways. The business segments of our company include passenger and freight transportation, logistic services, ferry operation and rolling stock supply and maintenance. Within the scope of our business segments, TCDD Taşımacılık A.Ş. is also responsible for the operation of high-speed and conventional trains as well as the Marmaray line which currently operates between Ayrılık Çeşmesi and Kazlıçeşme Stations.

Over the past year we have conducted our activities with a new approach and perspective to management whilst serving approximately 25,000 high-speed passengers, 45,000 conventional train passengers and 200,000 Marmaray passengers per day. There has been a recent increase in passenger numbers and satisfaction rates, especially among high-speed rail and Marmaray passengers. This is a significant step in the right direction for improvement because between 1950 and 2002 the story was quite different. During those years, the Turkish railway system was plagued with underinvestment, with highways benefiting from priority improvement projects.

Owing to the fact that the railway network of approximately 11,000km was based on single-line operations and the existing railway lines could not be modernised, travelling by train took a long time, resulting in decreased public interest towards train travel and the perception of an undesirable mode of transport.

A milestone year for the Turkish railway sector was in 2003 when the government initiated policies that aimed to prioritise the railways in an attempt to establish a balanced and reliable transportation infrastructure. Following the actioning of those policies, Ł60 billion has since been invested in the Turkish railway sector.

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