Marmaray, called the Project of the Century, is a railway project designed according to the needs with its high capacity that does not pollute the environment by using electrical energy. It is also designed to maintain the healthy urban life of Istanbul to offer a modern city life and urban transportation opportunities to the citizens, to protect the natural historical features of the city. The construction of the project first started in 2004, with an estimated opening date of April 2019.
Multiple delays had taken place before it was opened as historical and archeological sites were discovered at the same time with the construction. Marmaray was first opened in 2013, and it became the first rail connection between Europe and Asia. It was only operating between Kazlıçeşme and Ayrılık Çeşmesi at first, and then the second phase of the opening was scheduled to open in 2015, but construction stopped in 2014. The work restarted in 2017, and the full line was opened in 2019. It is currently running between Halkali-Gebze with 43 stops.
The name of Marmaray, which relieves Istanbul's transportation problems, comes from the Sea of Marmara. The project involves a 13.6-kilometer Bosphorus crossing as well as the renovation of 63 kilometers of suburban rail lines to create a 76.6-kilometer route. On the Halkalı-Gebze suburban line, which carries millions of people, the first train departs from Gebze at 6 in the morning and the last train at 10.15 in the evening. From Halkalı, the first train leaves at 6 am and the last train at 10 pm.
Marmaray, which provides ease of transportation to so many people, has connections with metro, metrobus, ferry, and tram. To use Marmaray, you have two choices; you can buy a token that costs 10 TL, or you can buy an Istanbulkart and use it for 5.30 (not counting the initial fee of Istanbulkart). Children under 6 can use it for free.