Iran Khodro Diesel, a subsidiary of the country's major carmaker Iran Khodro, is planning to renovate the country’s aging bus fleet.
Mehdi Younesian, the head of IKD, said the renovation of dilapidated buses is high on the company's agenda, Asr-e Khodro reported.
"IKD can renovate over 2,000 buses annually, upgrading the dilapidated vehicles to Euro 3 and 4 standards with less than one-third of the required budget for buying new buses," he said.
Pointing to recent economic problems facing Iran, Younesian said the price of new buses, just like any other commodity, has seen a threefold leap.
Currently, a new bus is sold for 25 billion rials ($182,400) while the same bus was sold at 7.5 billion rials ($54,700) a year ago.
After US President Donald Trump reneged on Iran’s nuclear accord and reimposed sanctions against Tehran last summer, the Iranian rial has lost almost 70% of its value over the past year.
On Monday, the US dollar was traded at 143,000 rials in Tehran while it hardly fetched 42,000 rials in March 2018.
Following the imposition of sanctions, many foreign suppliers of vehicles and parts suspended collaboration with Iranian firms. The country cannot afford to import new buses in large numbers and local manufacturers do not have an adequate volume of parts to boost bus production.
Although there is no reliable data on the precise number of buses currently operating in the country, officials say 17,000 buses in the public transportation fleet, including both urban and intercity buses, are ready to be phased out.