Public transport means in Iran are quite different from other countries. Although similarities like buses and subways are available, minibuses and shared taxi fill the gaps where public transport is missing. But each one of them has its own rules and routines to use. Follow this article on Iran’s public transportation means to get a clear image of it.
So follow Irantourism’s article to learn more about Iran’s public transport and public means.
Conventional Public transport means in Iran!
- The subway system: So far, the subway system has become available in 3 cities: Shiraz, Mashhad and the capital, Tehran City. You can acquire a credit card or a disposable one-time-use ticket to use the Tehran metro or other cities’ subway systems. Both are obtainable at the ticket booths at every stop or from the TVM devices dedicated to selling and recharging the tickets. These subway systems and the Tehran metro cover a vast area of the cities, and the entangled lines can make a passenger frustrated fast, so we recommend you download and install the subway app and other useful apps for visiting Iran to use for navigation and pathfinding.
- Bus: the most conventional of public transport, available in almost every city. To use them, you must have a credit card (obtainable from the ticket booth at bus stops) or pay the driver in cash. The lines of the buses are set, but no clear map is mostly available to guide the passengers. So you need to ask the locals and the drivers for help and more info. Make sure you notify the driver at your destination stop, or he might miss it.
- Bus Rapid Transit Network (BRT): Bus Rapid transit in Iran is only available in Tehran and, on a smaller scale, in Tabriz. These rapid transit in Iran usually have their own memorable designated lines to travel into, so they can get you almost anywhere in the city, sometimes even faster than personal vehicles. To use this system, you must use the Tehran metro tickets again. To find the stops and the lines available, We recommend you to read the article about the useful apps for visiting Iran and use the apps provided for this purpose.
- Minibuses: usually, on the routes (especially urban places) where no bus or subway is available, the minibuses operate to fill the gap. They have predetermined routes as the buses do, but the stops aren’t clear. This means you can ask them to stop wherever is suitable for you. They usually only board passengers at the beginning or the end of the route and won’t start moving until all the seats are filled. Unfortunately, the problem with this kind of public transport is that the ways of these minibuses are unclear to irregular passengers and you need to ask around to find the right minibus for your destination. Remember that the drivers only accept cash!
- Taxi and Snapp: the last choice of public transport or shared taxi in Iran is to hire a cab or get a Snapp (Iranian version of Uber). This kind of shared taxi in Iran is usually reachable from the agencies, or you can hire one if you see them around you. They are traditionally cars in colours of solid yellow, green or white with strips of black. Make sure you agree on the price before you get in the car. Also, you might get your hands on a cab by dialling 133 or 1829 in most cities. But of course, you need to speak Farsi with the clerk over the phone.
In another article, you can find out more about Snapp and the taxi apps in Iran.
Unconventional Public transport means in Iran!
Aside from all that mentioned above, other means of public transport might seem a bit odd to you. But they come in handy when other means of Public transport aren’t available, or you need a faster version of them.
- Shared Taxi in Iran: These are taxis or personal vehicles acting like buses. The routes and prices are predetermined and unalterable. You can have only as much seating space as your number of passengers and must let the driver of the shared taxi in Iran fill the rest. You need to ask about the directions and the routes each line of cars takes. And ask the driver to stop where you want to drop you off. Again, you cannot ask the driver to change your route, as you are on a bus or a Tehran metro.
- The payment method of shared taxi in Iran is cash only, in contrast with Tehran metro tickets. But recently, there has been a development, and the Toman app has come along. Using this payment app (only in Tehran), you can scan the bar code in the taxi and pay the fee online.
- Hired motorcycles: the fastest way to get around in large and crowded cities is to hire a bike with a rider. This option is maybe the fastest one, but also the least safe one. In cities like Tehran, you only need to stay by the road to be approached by a rider and proposed to get you to your destination. The system is like a normal shared taxi in Iran: you name your destination, agree on a price, and be off on your way. There are also applications available for doing this, just like ride-hailing apps in Iran, like Alopeyk (android and iOS).