A Guide to the Tehran Metro

Tehran Metro is an integral part of the sprawling city’s extensive public transportation network, extending north to south and east to west.

The ever-expanding subway system has over 100 stations, and city officials say that number will double by mid-2018.

More than 2 million commuters use the subway everyday as it is arguably the most efficient mode of transportation in Tehran, which is home to 12 million people. The network provides easy access to popular sites of attraction, particularly to those in downtown Tehran.

You can also read about Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) in Tehran.

Tehran Urban and Suburban Railway (Metro) Map

Tehran Urban and Suburban Railway (Metro) Map

 

Working Hours

The metro system operates from 5:30 to 22:30 every day. However, depending on the day and time, the trains arrive at intervals ranging from 3 to 10 minutes.

Getting a Ticket

Getting a ticket is easy: Just walk up to a counter or use a ticket machine in the station.

The tickets are priced reasonably. A one-trip (single-use) ticket costs 7,000 rials (approximately 20 cents), while a two-trip ticket goes for 11,000 rials (around 30 cents).

Alternatively, you can purchase a subway card (costs 15,000 rials / 40 cents) and top it up with a minimum of 20,000 rials / 50 cents. The card can also be used to pay for bus rides, so it’s worth getting.

If you do get the card, remember to check out when leaving the station; otherwise, the next time you use the card you’ll incur a small fine.

Check-in Gates

Check-in Gates

 

Things to Remember

Try not to use the disability-access gates when checking in. These gates, which are intended to be used by those with physical disabilities as well as those pushing a baby stroller, usually allow for two-way traffic of people.

Before checking in, wait for the gate to close after the person in front of you has gone through.

Do not cross the yellow line on the platform. If you do, you will be told to step back by the PA announcer or the metro staff.

When the train arrives, stand to the side of the door and not in front of it; otherwise, you’ll end up blocking those exiting the train.

Also, avoid carrying large objects on the trains; they take up space and cause inconvenience. Also, no pets are allowed.

Metro Platform

Metro Platform

 

 Women-Only Cars

The first and last cars are intended for women only. However, this is not to say that the rest of the cars are for men only; women can use any car they choose.

Rush Hours

The subway has become the primary method of transportation in the city. As such, the trains get very crowded during rush hours, which typically last from 5:30 to 9:00 (when people go to work) and 16:00 to 20:00 (when commuters return home).

This is particularly unbearable in transit hubs (or interchange stations) where people change trains, such as Imam Khomeini and Darvazeh Dowlat.

I’d never recommend using the metro during rush hours as even breathing can become difficult at times.

Vali-e Asr Metro Station

Vali-e Asr Metro Station

 

Vendors

Vendors have become a part of the subway ecosystem. Men and women of all ages walk through trains carrying bags of cheap goods hoping to make a sale. Sometimes they sell things you might need, such as a pack of tissue or gum.

City officials warn against buying from subway vendors; however, people don’t listen and continue to shop anyway.

Tehran Metro Sign

A Metro Sign

 

 Getting Your Bearings

There are sign boards overhead on the platform and throughout every station that make getting around simple. Most (but not all) stations have maps of the area where the station is located on the walls, as well as the subway map. The lines are color-coded and numbered. Since there aren’t many metro lines yet, it’s not very confusing.

The Tehran Metro is one of the fastest, most cost-effective modes of transport in the city. With that said, I must reiterate that you avoid using the subway during rush hours; nothing is worth getting squashed like that!

Please comment below and share your insights with us.

Mojdeh Karimi
Mojdeh Karimi is responsible for English section of Transportation Industry Magazine in Tehran. She also has M.S in Tourism Management.
3 replies
  1. Reza says:

    Dear Mojdeh Karimi, What made you think that people need a user guide to a Metro system in the 21st Century? Have you nothing better to do? OK, now that you have written this so called guide, did you not think to write one or two things about the deficiencies of this system as well – instead of writing brochure style material which is of NO use to anyone WHAT SO EVER? For example (1) the Tehran metro was built way too small for a city of 10+ million people. (2) that it is not by any means the “most efficient mode of transport in Tehran” and that even if it was it would have been THE place to catch a disease or get squashed to death (3) that the staff are some of the most demoralised staff of any Metro station in the world due to not having received their monthly salaries for months (4) that the name of at least 3 stations were changed months (if not years) ago, and yet the maps are still the old maps, as a result of which many people get extremely confused and frustrated on a daily basis and (like myself) end up leaving the metro and catching a taxi or taximoto!

    Reply
    • Mojdeh Karimi
      Mojdeh Karimi says:

      Dear Reza, I am glad you read my article despite the fact that you find some parts boring. You might know that many things like culture may affect the way we use the same phenomenon such as transportation system. That is why there are many user guides for apparently the same transportation system/mode for every country. One of that differences is the divided men-women cars.
      Next, even though you (and almost all of us) had a disappointing experience using metro system, it is still an effective mode of transportation in Tehran that many people use it every day. Of course, no one can neglect its deficiencies as I mentioned in the article such as crowd in the rush hours.
      I have to emphasize that this is a simple usage guide and I didn’t intend to delineate the metro system managerial issues and challenges such as staff salary, agility and need for more lines and trains.

      Reply

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