The Transportation Coordination Center (UKOME) of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, run by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), on April 6 increased public transportation prices by 40 percent amid skyrocketing inflation.
The move previously had been rejected several times by the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) representatives in UKOME.
The drivers of the privately-run public buses, mini buses and shuttles in Istanbul had requested a 50-60 percent increase, saying they wouldn’t otherwise continue to work.
This is the second price hike in public transportation introduced in Istanbul this year. At UKOME's meeting in December 2021, public transportation fees were increased by 36 percent and service fees by 27 percent.
Calling the move a "necessity," the General Directorate of Istanbul Electric Tramway and Tunnel Operations (IETT) said their expenses were four times higher than their income, especially due to inflation and recent price increases in fuel.
“The price of a liter of diesel, which was 8.2 liras in November 2021, increased by 158 percent to 21.2 liras in April 2022. In the field of transportation many basic expenses are made in foreign currency. The [value of one] US dollar [against the lira] rose from 9.9 liras to 14.7 liras with an increase of around 50 percent in the same period,” it said.
In another move, the General Directorate of Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration (İSKİ) on April 5 increased household water prices by 29 percent.
Turkey's annual inflation jumped to 61.14 percent in March, according to official data, while the independent research group ENAG put the figure at 142.63 percent. Many citizens in Turkey struggle to make ends meet amid massive increases in the costs of living.