Iran has a long paved road system linking most of its towns and all of its cities. In 2007 the country had 178,152 km (111,000 mi) of roads, of which 66 percent were paved. There were 55 passenger cars for every 1,000 inhabitants. Trains operated on 11,106 km (6,942 mi) of railroad track. The country’s major port of entry is Bandar-Abbās on the Strait of Hormoz.
After arriving in Iran, imported goods are distributed throughout the country by trucks and freight trains. The Tehran-Bandar-Abbās railroad, opened in 1995, connects Bandar-Abbās to the railroad system of Central Asia via Tehran and Mashhad. Other major ports include Bandar-e Anzali and Bandar-e Torkeman on the Caspian Sea and Khorramshahr and Bandar-e Imam Khomeyni on the Persian Gulf. Dozens of cities have airports that serve passenger and cargo planes. Iran Air, the national airline, was founded in 1962 and operates domestic and international flights.
All large cities have mass transit systems using buses, and several private companies provide bus service between cities. Tehran, Mashhad, Shīrāz, Tabrīz, Ahvāz, and Esfehān are in the process of constructing underground mass transit rail lines. Iranian transport is of high quality and is very affordable. There are few places the very cheap buses don’t travel to, the train network is limited but comfortable and reasonably priced and travel by air is very cheap, especially by international standards (in fact one of the cheapest in the world).
For anyone on a tight deadline, affordable domestic air services are a blessing. The major national carrier Iran Air and its semi-private competitors (Iran Aseman Airlines, Mahan Air, Kish Air, etc.) link Tehran with most regional centers and offer inter-regional flights. Their services are frequent, reliable, and safe, definitely worth considering skipping the large distances within Iran. Tickets can be bought at airports or travel agents dotted through most major cities. Book early during the summer months of August and September since finding seats at short notice is virtually impossible. you can also find domestic tickets in some Iran Air offices abroad (Dubai for instance).
The shipping industry is among the oldest industries in Iran. As there are many city ports in the southern part of the country by the Persian Gulf and in the north by the Caspian Sea, shipping goods by seaways have become major transportation means in Iran. There are huge ships transporting goods –most importantly oil- too many countries in the world. There are also cruises with smaller ships taking tourists from Iran’s southern ports to beautiful islands like Kish, Qeshm, etc., or from northern ports to neighboring countries via the Caspian Sea.
Raja Passenger Train is the passenger rail system. Traveling by train through Iran is generally very comfortable and sleeper berths in overnight trains are especially good value as they allow you to get a good night’s sleep while saving on a night’s accommodation. The rail network is comprised of three main trunks. The first stretches east to west across the north of the country linking the Turkish and Turkmenistan borders via Tabriz, Tehran, and Mashhad. The second and third extend south of Tehran but split at Qom. One line connects to the Persian Gulf via Ahvāz and Arāk, while the other traverses the country’s center linking kāshān, Yazd, and kermān. Tickets can be bought from train stations up to one month before the date of departure, and it is wise to book at least a couple of days in advance during the peak domestic holiday months.
In 1984 the “Tehran Metro execution Plan” was approved by Majles (Iranian Parliament). Works proceeded slowly due to the Iran-Iraq war but resumed by the summer of 1987 under the management of Iranian staff and experts, with a priority on line1 (From Blvd. Shahid Ayatollah Haghani to city of Rey) and its extension to behest e-Zahra cemetery, and line2 (From Dardasht in Tehran Pars district to Sadeghiyeh Second Square) and an extending towards the city of Karaj and Mehrshahr district. Also, necessary measures to establish line3 and 4 and studies on their extension began. on March 7, 1999, Tehran-Karaj express electric train started a limited-service of 31,4 km between Azadi Square (Tehran) and Malard (Karaj) calling at one intermediate stop at Vardavard.
Some 11 more stops are to be made available in the future. each train offers 1,400 seats. Over 100 million passengers per year are expected. construction works of stations, tunnels, and bridges on both subway lines 1 and 2 are currently widely finished. Track laying, installation of electric power supply, and traffic control equipment are underway. electric multiple units for the subway lines and electric locomotives for the Karaj railway are being delivered from Chinese manufacturers. double-deck passenger cars for the commuter line have been constructed by the Pars wagon factory in Arak.
The Iranian domestic bus network is extensive and thanks to the low cost of fuel, very cheap. There is little difference between the various bus companies, and most offer two classes: ‘lux’ or ‘Mercedes’ (۲nd class) and ‘super’ or ‘Volvo’ (۱st class). First-class buses are air-conditioned and you will be provided with a small snack during your trip, while second class services are more frequent. Given the affordability of first-class tickets, there’s a little financial incentive to opt for the second class services. You can buy tickets from the bus terminals or ticket offices up to a week in advance, but you shouldn’t have a problem finding a seat if you turn up at the terminal an hour or so before your intended departure time. Most cities operate comprehensive local bus services, but given the low cost of taxis, they are of little use to foreign travelers.
Low fuel costs have made inter-city travel by taxi a great value option in Iran. When traveling between cities up to ۲٥۰ km apart, you may be able to hire one of the shared savāri taxis that loiter around bus terminals and train stations. Savari taxis are faster than buses and Taxis will only leave when four paying passengers have been found, so if you’re in a hurry you can offer to pay for an extra seat. Official shared local taxis, identifiable by some kind of orange paint marking, also ply the major roads of most cities. They usually run straight lines between major squares and landmarks. Hailing one of these taxis is an art you’ll soon master.
Stand on the side of the road with traffic flowing in your intended direction and flag down a passing cab. It will slow down fractionally, giving you about one second to shout your destination- -pick a major nearby landmark instead of the full address–through the open passenger window. If the driver is interested, he’ll slow down enough for you to negotiate the details. If you’re in a hurry, you can rent a taxi privately. Just shout the destination followed by the phrase dar bast (literally ‘closed door’) and the driver will almost be sure to stop. Negotiate the price before departure, but since you are paying for all the empty seats expect to pay five times the normal shared taxi fare. You can also rent these taxis by the hour to visit several sites.