In August 2000, Bombardier Transportation, under contract to the Mayoralty of the Greater City of Izmir, Turkey, successfully launched an 11.5-km (7.1-mi.) light rail system linking the downtown business area with the suburbs. The segregated, doubletrack system is the first phase of the city's vision to build a 50-km (31.3-mi.) metro system to alleviate traffic congestion in this growing metropolis.
As the lead consortium member, Bombardier designed, built, supplied, installed and commissioned the full turnkey system including tunnels, viaducts, 10 passenger stations, 45 vehicles, and all other System elements. The Izmir System presently operates with three-car trains running at five-minute headways and is capable of carrying up to 17,700 passengers per hour per direction. Quickly surpassing initial ridership estimates of 40,000 passenger trips per day, the System was already accommodating 100,000 people per day by April 2001.
Bombardier Transportation also arranged for complete project financing consisting of export credits from the UK, Germany and Sweden and commercial loans from international banking syndicates.