Sources inform ''Globes'' that, at the request of the Ministry of Transport, Ayalon Highways Company Ltd. has commissioned an opinion to convert one of the highway's lanes in Tel Aviv into a toll lane. This was the first practical step in the ministry's plan to add toll fast lanes in metropolitan Tel Aviv.
Ayalon Highways commissioned the opinion from a US toll roads consultant to advise converting one northbound lane of the highway between the convergence of Road 1 (the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway) to the Glilot Interchange with Road 5. If the proposal materializes, it will mean extending the fast lane toll lane along Road 1 from Ben Gurion Airport.
Top transport sources say that converting a lane on the Ayalon Highway into a toll lane, without widening the road will cause even greater congestion during rush hour. One source said, "This is a blow to the people, and another gift to the rich."
The experts also note the practical problems, because while it is physically possible to separate the left-hand northbound lane, this would mean that only users of the toll lane will have access to the highway's left-hand shoulder.
Ayalon Highways said in response that it was in contact with the consultant in order to give the Ministry of Transport a second opinion on the transport project.
The Ministry of Transport said that no toll lane was involved, but only the establishment of a fast lane, similar to the fast lane on Road 1, in order to ease traffic entering Tel Aviv. The lane would not come at the expense of the existing lanes, and a park and ride lot, similar to the one on Road 1, would be built, and that public transport and cars with 4 or more people would travel for free.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 19, 2014
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