Public transport means in Iran are quite different than other countries. Although similarities like buses and subways are available, but minibuses and shared taxi fill in the gaps where the public transport is missing. But each one of them has their own rules and routines to use. Follow this article on Iran’s public transport means to get a clear image of it.
So follow Irantourism’s article, to learn more about public transport and public means in Iran
Conventional Public transport means in Iran
- Subway system and Tehran metro: Subway system so far has become available in 3 cities: Shiraz, Mashhad and the capital, Tehran city. To use either of Tehran metro or other cities’ subway system, you can acquire a credit card or a disposable one-time-use ticket. Both are obtainable at the ticket booths in every stop, or from the T.V.M devices dedicated to selling and recharging the tickets.
These subway systems and Tehran metro cover a vast area of the cities and the entangled lines can make a passenger frustrated really fast, so we recommend you to download and install subway app and other useful apps for visiting Iran to use for navigation and path finding.
- Bus: the most conventional of public transport, available in almost every city. In order to use them, you need to have a credit card (obtainable from the ticket booth at bus stops) or you have to pay the driver in cash. The lines of the buses are set, but mostly no clear map is 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.
- Tehran Rapid Transit (BRT): Rapid transit in Iran is only available in Tehran and, on a smaller scale, in Tabriz. This rapid transit in Iran usually have their own especial designated lines to travel into so they can get you almost anywhere in the city, sometimes even faster than the personal vehicles. To use this system you again have to use the Tehran metro tickets. In order to find the stops and the lines available, we recommend you to read the article about best mobile apps for visiting Iran and use the apps provided for this purpose.
- Minibuses: usually at the routes (especially urban places) that 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. Which means you can ask them to stop wherever is suitable for you. They usually only board passengers at either the beginning or the end of the route and won’t start moving until all the seats are filled. Unfortunately, the problem of this kind of public transport is that the routes of these minibuses are not clear to irregular passengers and you need to ask around in order to find the right minibus for your destination. And the drivers only accept cash!
- Taxi and Snapp: the last choice of public transport or shared taxi in Iran is to hire a taxi 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 happen to see them around you. They are usually cars in colors of solid yellow, green or white with strips of black. Make sure you agree on the price before you get in the car not after. Also, you might get your hands on a cab by dialing 133 or 1829 in most of the cities. But of course, you need to speak Farsi with the clerk over the phone.
You can find out more about Snapp and taxi app in Iran on another article.
Unconventional Public transport means in Iran
Aside from all that mentioned above, there are other means of public transport that might seem a bit odd to you. But they come in handy when other means of Public transport isn’t available, or you need a faster version of them.
- Shared taxi in Iran: These are taxis or, sometimes personal vehicles acting like a bus. 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 to fill the rest. You need to ask about the directions and the routes each line of the cars take. And ask the driver to stop, where you want to drop off. Again, you cannot ask the driver to change the route for you, 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 Phone Pay 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 motorcycle with the rider. 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. This option is maybe the fastest one, but also the least safe one. The system is like 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. Speed app for both android and iOS and Alopeyk (android and iOS supported) are 2 of them.