When Nasser al-Din Shah, a king of the Qajar dynasty, was introduced to automobile in his journeys to Europe, he showed no interest in importing automobiles to Iran, he preferred his royal carriages to “iron vehicles”. It was Mozafar al-Din Shah, (another Qajar king), who brought the first automobile to Iran in the year1902, only 15 years after the production of the diesel engine. In October 1900, as the king was returning to Iran, two automobiles, which he had ordered, were ready at his door. The automobiles, manufactured by Renault company, were sent to Iran, but only one of them reached Tehran; the other one broke down on the way from Anzali to Tehran and was left on the road side where it was left in rain and snow and became a piece of junk. The other car, which had a Belgian driver, was gifted to Mohammad Ali Shah a few years later. One day, when kings royal carriage and his car where passing in front of Saudi Arabia’s embassy near Baharestan a bomb was thrown at them as a result of that assassination attempt Some of the riders, coachmen and footmen were killed or injured, the king itself, being in the car, survived. After Mohammad Ali Shah, the car was given to his son, Ahmad Shah, he bought second car and drove them quite frequently. At that time, public transportation system was limited to horse drawn wagons along two main routes: route one started from Nezam school at the west end of Sepah street and Bagh Shah Sq. (now called Hor) and finished at Hasht Gonbad Sq. (now called Hasanabad Sq.); route two started from Bazaar and ended in Cheragh Bargh Street. Horses drawn wagons were pulling the trains along the rails; and fresh horses were changed at the end of each route. The first railroad steam trains, which people called it mashin Doodi (smoky cars),was operated between Tehran and Rey in Nasser al-Din Shahs regime. The Tehran- Rey steam train ticket, printed at that time at the cost of cost 3 Shahi (currency) and then increased to five Shahi in Mozafar al-Din Shahs time, and seven Shahii in Ahmad Shahs time and finally to ten Shahi. The first private car was imported to Iran in 1904; according to Nazem Al-Islam there were 10 cars at that time in Tehran. The first groups of cars that were imported manufactured by Ford Company and all were convertibles with four seats, with top speed of not exceeding 40 kmph. The first heavy vehicles imported were chain Lorries with solid tires and differentials. There were similar to conventional pickups. In 1949, the national parliament passed a law on vehicle tax: tax for a private car was 50 Rials, for a horse-drawn buggy, 12 Rials, for a carriage, 15 Rials.

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Also, each car entering Tehran from another city was to pay 10 Rials as tax. Comparing with the prices of monthly rent for a house located in a good area which was around 50 Rials. In 1949 Tehran had 432 private hire vehicles, 108 vehicles belonging to foreign embassies, 36 privately owned motorcycles, 615 bicycles and 135 private hire motorcycles. The total number of vehicles in Tehran in 1926 was around 1140. The first bus was used in Rasht by a Belgian businessman. The business, however, was not profitable due to the low fare charged and lack of transport substructure in the city. So the bus was sold to a businessman called Moein al-Tojar, who brought it to Tehran after the Constitutional Revolution and used it as a public transport vehicle, charging each passenger 3 Shahi. After a while, several other buses were imported by different businessmen. The first bus was assembled in Iran in 1911. In 1919, following peoples dissatisfaction for public transportation system in Tehran, with order of the prime minister, Vosough al-Doleh an office for organizing the urban transport affairs was established in Tehran by the municipality,. In October 1933, a law for the construction of roads and development of highways was passed which was amended in July 1935 and came to be known as “the law of roads and pavements construction and development”.
In September 1941, there were nearly 100 buses operating in Tehran, 90 of which were manufactured by Mercedes Benz Company.
In 1952, “vahed city Bus Company” was established with a capital of 300,000,000 Rials. In its first year, the company had a fleet of 173 uniform buses operating in five routes. In 1969, the first double decker bus, assembled by Iran National Company, joined the fleet. According to the police statistics in the year 2006 there were 1,917,766.

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Figure 6.1 Tehran metro (2009)

Metro Lines and station (2010)

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