Furthering the Fellowship: Public Transportation Project in Ankara

Ali Onuralp Unal, Spring 2019 Fellow from Turkey 

Coordinator of Projects Department of Ankara Municipality

US Foreign Ministry

After the Professional Fellowship program in 2019, Ali Onuralp Unal returned home to Turkey and began working on major projects in the transportation field. While working as a fellow at the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Unal contributed to the establishment of bicycle infrastructure under the leadership of Celeste Gilman and Roger Miller. After this experience, he brought new ideas to the Ankara city bike path Project, implemented in 2020. Celeste Gilman, supervisor of Unal in WSDOT, visited Turkey for a bike infrastructure Project in this year.

In addition, Unal worked on improving the public transport system in Ankara. He works closely with United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and suggested an optimisation system Project idea to USTDA. Apart from the established methods, this idea was very different to optimise public transport. Ankara Public Transport Authority will increase the capacity of public transport lines, bus stops, drivers and busses thanks to this optimisation Project.

The project plans to implement analytical modelings and integrations, taking into account population density and mobility to calculate the mobile application. After the Project, it is estimated that public transport efficiency will increase 10% in Ankara. USTDA and Ankara Metropolitan Municipality signed a 1.25 million dollar grant to fund these efforts, and the American company SAS also contributed 1.25 million dollars, totalling 2.5 million dollars for this project to date.

Of his experience in the Professional Fellows Program, Mr. Unal said;

“I applied to the PFP program in 2019 and was selected as a fellow. America experience was unforgettable for me. We had very good memories with my team there. After leaving the US, they published a very good article with my name on the official institution blogs. They explained our work in detail. The important thing was to bring the good practices to my country. This project isone of the results of PFP. As a Turkish citizen, I am happy to serve my country. The Professional Fellowship program has been an important milestone in my life. I recommend this unbelievable program to every Professional. I thank the American Councils and its valuable staff. “

Ali unal