U.S. Markets open in 1 hr 38 mins

Istanbul 2020 bid stresses transport plans

In this Sunday, March 24, 2013 photo provided by Istanbul 202 Media Team Turkey's President Abdullah Gul, third left, speaks with International Olympic Committee, IOC Vice President and chairman of the IOC Evaluation Commission Craig Reedie, second left, as they arrive for the opening of the evaluation commission meeting in Istanbul, Turkey. The IOC Evaluation Commission is in Istanbul to evaluate the city's bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games. (AP Photo/Istanbul 202 Media Team)

ISTANBUL (AP) -- Istanbul is highlighting major improvements to the gridlocked city's transportation system as part of its bid for the 2020 Olympics.

The bid committee says plans include expanded metro and rail lines and the construction of rail and road tunnels linking the city's European and Asian sides.

The statement came Tuesday on the third day of the IOC evaluation commission's four-day assessment of Istanbul's latest Olympic bid.

The Istanbul committee said most athletes would reach venues in 30 minutes or less, with an average travel time of just 16 minutes.

The proposed infrastructure budget for Istanbul's fifth bid is $19.2 billion — 10 times higher than Madrid's $1.9 billion and much higher than Tokyo's $4.9 billion.