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Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Yes to all. Uber is also available here. The metro service is fairly new, but only comes within a mile of the consulate, so commuting by metro requires taking a taxi. A 10km/6mi cab ride runs about 6 dollars. Metro rides of any distance are $0.80. - Sep 27, 2017
All are safe but the prices went up last year (everyone is in an economic pickle right about now. Baby's gotta eat!). - Oct 24, 2010
Absolutely - you can travel from one end of Istanbul to the other for about five dollars by clean, frequently running public transportation. Taxis are more expensive and you need some Turkish and an idea of where you are going to use them eficiently but still far superior to most of what I've experienced in the rest of the world. - Jan 4, 2010
Safe and reasonable, but public transport does NOT go everywhere - Jan 3, 2010
Yes, taxis are fine for short trips, but it is expensive to go across town. But for $1 you can get on most buses and trains. Excellent "fare fob" devices can be pre-loaded with money to work on trains, buses, trams, ferries, and even a funicular! - Dec 21, 2009
Trains, buses, and taxis are everywhere. Trains and buses are cheap, but taxis are expensive and the drivers have the reputation of scamming people, especially foreigners. - Dec 3, 2009