Congestion charge to go far beyond Tel Aviv

Ayalon South jams Photo: Shlomi Yosef

The congestion charge, to be imposed from 2024, will extend to Herzliya, Petah Tikva and Rishon Lezion.

From March 2024 traveling by car throughout the Tel Aviv Metropolitan region will entail paying the congestion charge, according to the latest draft of the Economic Arrangements Bill submitted to the Knesset, which accompanies the government budget.

Not only is the congestion charge plan moving forward but a map of areas to be included in the plan has been published for the first time as part of the bill. The planned congestion charge will collected from three rings. The inner ring will include central and south Tel Aviv. The middle ring will include Ramat Gan, Givatayim, Bnei Brak, Holon and Bat Yam and Azur. The outer ring will include Herzliya, Petah Tikva, Kiryat Ono, Givat Shmuel, Ganei Tikva, Yehud Monoson, Or Yehuda, Rishon Lezion and Beit Dagan.

The congestion charge will be cheapest in the outer ring and most expensive in the inner ring. The maximum charge for entering all three rings during the morning or evening rush hours will be NIS 25.

Financing company to be established

In order to implement the Law a government-owned financing company will be established. The role of the new company will be to plan, build, operate and maintain the means required to collect the congestion charge. Although the date for the start of operations of the congestion charge in 2024 ostensibly leaves a lot of time to prepare matters, the setting up of a new body in Israel including appointing managers, and setting a budget is no easy business.

The new company will face major challenges including planning, placing and operating cameras throughout the Tel Aviv Metropolitan area to document traffic in the three rings and defining by law the borders of the rings. The Israel Tax Authority will be responsible for collecting the congestion charge and the new financing company may collect the charge on its behalf.

New implementation committee

The Economic Arrangements Bill stipulates that a new implementations committee will be set up to recommend to the government any changes in the borders of the proposed rings, changes in the hours for imposing the charge, and more. The committee will have six members including representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Transport, and the Israel Tax Authority.

The Economic Arrangements Bill also states that buses, taxis and cars with disabled parking tags will be exempt from the charge. Truck drivers will be required to pay double the standard charge because of their excessive contribution to congestion and air pollution and to encourage them to drive in non-peak hours.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 31, 2021

Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021

Ayalon South jams Photo: Shlomi Yosef
Ayalon South jams Photo: Shlomi Yosef
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